Host Cast: Haley Bishop, Jemma Moore, Emma Louise Webb, Radina Drandova, Caroline Ward, Teddy Linard, Seylan Baxter
Host Director: Rob Savage
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime
The desktop movie/webs series (an entire film or at least most of it shown on a computer screen or mobile phone or both) is something that is gaining traction over the past couple of years, and now has crept into populist culture after more such content appeared online during the lockdown. Even here in India we've got our share of such desktop content with the Malayalam movie, C U Soon, and the surprisingly great show, The Gone Game. However, the benchmark for such stuff still remains 2014's horror film, Unfriended (let's not even get into the sequel), and the 2018 thriller, Searching. Well, y'all will be glad to hear that the British horror movie, Host, recently released on Amazon Prime (it initially exclusively premiered on Shudder, available only in the US, Europe and a few other select countries), not only measure to their yardstick, but will soon also be seen as a benchmark itself for others to follow.
So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering whether Host is worth your time? Scroll down for my full Host review...
What's it about
Six friends decide to connect with each other over a Zoom video call during lockdown, with one of them including a seventh person, an expert in contacting spirits, as she feels that holding a séance online would not only be spice up their call, but also be a completely unique experience. Little do they know of the diabolism they're about to unleash...
Watch the Host trailer below: VIDEO
Host (2020, there's another American and Korean movie by the same title released earlier) is a very smart and snappy horror film, shot entirely during lockdown, and using the quarantine milieu and dread of the coronavirus pandemic to great effect with the help of a mix of long shots, zoom shots, closeups, fast cuts and creative lighting. Full marks to Director Rob Savage, editor Brenna Rangott and lighting in charge Ciaron Craig for working in tandem to evoke such a discomforting effect. It's also the best I've seen a movie apply the steadily growing desktop/mobile format, (yes, even better than 2018's Searching and 2014's Unfriended, through Searching is overall the best movie of the lot), exploiting the Zoom-video call backdrop with chilling results, hardly ever showing the demonic entities, but making you shudder and occasionally jump out of your seat (at least, it did for me, after eons) by merely sensing their presence. The best part of this horror movie through has to be how it all but makes you a part of the video call, especially at just 56 minutes in length.
It's more than commendable that the team kept everything down to 56 minutes and pulled off the job admirably well, but a bit more backstory to the entity wouldn't have hurt nor would've a slightly more seamless end to the mayhem that ensues, with the denouement feeling a tad hurried, just a tad though, nothing more. Other than these and a few other minor gripes that can be overlooked, there's really not much to whine about over here.
After watching Host, you may just look behind your back the next time you log in for a Zoom meeting. I'm going with a well-deserved 4 out of 5 stars.
4 out of 5
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