Movie #278 2020: Host (2020)

2020 is the year that filmmakers has to get really creative. That’s no secret.

Host is testament to that fact. Filmed entirely during UK lockdown, the characters in the film are also quarantined themselves due to COVID, which only makes it more effective. A found footage horror, a group of friends chat over Zoom and decide to hold a séance. (Idiots, basically.) Of course that goes about as well as you’d expect, and the girls begin to get picked off one-by-one by an unseen force. To summarise, it all goes tits up very rapidly.

It is extremely impressive how well this is made considering the conditions the creators were facing. I read somewhere that the actors had to go through remote lighting/props/camera workshops beforehand, so this definitely gets an A+ for effort.

Found footage films are certainly better than they used to be, and this one is a decent addition. Then again, I’m one of the few people who didn’t understand the hype that revolved around The Blair Witch Project, so who am I to judge really? The script itself is kind of great too – very realistic in the way the characters spoke to one another, and they manage to squeeze in the fact that British people will take the piss out of everything they possibly can which is fun.

Okay, let’s talk about the run time. 57 minutes?! Amazing. For those of you who don’t know, 57 minutes is exactly the amount of time a Zoom call lasts before you have to hang up and re-connect. It’s a brilliant little tidbit that was clearly well thought out carefully in the production process, and the way the length of the movie ties in with the length of a zoom call is super smart. Moreover, I’m hereby starting a petition calling for more movies that are only an hour long. Short attention spans will finally be catered to, and you can squeeze a movie in before work! What’s not to like?!

Very jumpy although not entirely reliant on jump scares, but I didn’t find it entirely terrifying. My girlfriend however – a regular zoom user – was absolutely jumping out of her skin every five minutes, so on the whole I’d say it was quite effective. You’ll definitely find yourself keeping an eye out for creatures lurking in the shadows, and that’s exactly the effect you want from a horror movie.

On the whole, the background to how this was made is just so impressive in itself, never mind the actually decent performances given by these unknown actors. It’s super effective, and a perfect Halloween watch!

Host is available to stream via Shudder in the UK – claim your 7 day free trial HERE!

TQR Category Ratings:

Soundtrack: n/a
Costume & Set Design: 
Overall Enjoyability Rating: 

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