The world has changed greatly in the past few months. One of the most obvious ways has been the increased use of videoconferencing. Host is a Shudder original with an interesting premise. A group of friends decide to hold a seance over Zoom. While some are skeptical at first, they soon realize things are much more real than they could have ever feared.
Host seems like it is nothing more than a gimmick. Director Rob Savage never set foot in the same room as any of the actors. In what is truly a product of the modern age, the direction of the entire movie was done remotely. That in itself is enough to bring curious audiences to the picture. If that is not enough, the seance over Zoom has the potential to be a fun premise.
Anyone who watches the movie will see it is much more than just a marketing gimmick born out of circumstances. Host is a solid horror film that delivers on its topical premise. The story is straight and to the point. The script does not go out of the way to surprise and most will know what to expect. There are going to be plenty of jump scares so they better be effective.
Host exceeds any expectations. The scares are perfectly timed leading to maximum effect. The less surprising ones are still able to shock the audience. Savage also does an excellent job of sprinkling in some unexpected jolts of fear. There is a constant sense of dread that keeps everyone watching on the edge of their seats. This can be a hard movie to watch for all the right reasons.
How much a movie like this works depends on its characters. Host does a great job of letting the audience get to know as much as needed. The film is short and the story is simple. There does not have to be much nuance here. The audience just needs to want everyone to survive. That is definitely the case here. The story quickly shows who believes, who is unsure, and who is not talking anything seriously. This is important as Host progresses as it draws viewers into what they are watching.
Host brings traditional horror scares effectively into the modern world. The story is refreshingly familiar. It is one of those horror movies that will have the audience yelling at the screen in horror and disbelief. This is the perfect movie to watch with a group of friends. Lots of scary movies have used technology as their backdrop, but few have done so this well.
Host premieres on July 30 on Shudder.