Main cast: Haley Bishop (Haley), Jemma Moore (Jemma), Emma Louise Webb (Emma), Radina Drandova (Radina), Caroline Ward (Caroline), Edward Linard (Teddy), Jinny Lofthouse (Jinny), and Seylan Baxter (Seylan)
Director: Rob Savage
Host is barely under an hour long, but it’s also hailed by some easily-impressed people as the best horror film of 2020. Really? This is one of those newfangled take on found footage films, kind of like Unfriended and Searching, with the narrative unfolding in this movie via that online meeting platform Zoom.
Basically, we have a bunch of friends meeting on Zoom, instead of in real life, what with the COVID-19 pandemic and all. After some gossip and bitching, Haley announces that they will have a séance, and she has brought in her friend, the medium Seylan, to run the whole thing. Jemma announces that she has made contact with Jack, someone who had committed suicide, only to later reveal that she’s just playing them all. Oops, too bad. As Seylan will explain later, by faking such a thing, Jemma has created an identity that demons can then assume in order to materialize in this world. Guess who’s just joined the meeting, everyone!
I have to say, the movie may be shorter than a typical full-length film, but its length is just about right, actually. After all, how long does a stupid Zoom meeting need to be anyway, especially when the demon starts making a bloody swathe through these nincompoops? Seriously, these people are basically sitting ducks, and the demon will probably feel embarrassed for having partaking in such a lopsided hunt.
Still, the whole thing is pretty well put together, and there is some vicarious pleasure to be had from seeing these generally silly, insipid people getting mowed down. I’m not sure if the movie were meant to be this meta, but watching it is a pretty good way to release some steam generated from being cooped up at home, heh. The acting is generally okay, and some of the scenes are pretty well set up.
It’s just that Host isn’t anything particularly new or inventive. If I’d seen any horror movie with demonic possession, creepy dark room, and women doing things in slow motion in order to lead up to the predictable jump scare, I’d seen what this movie had to offer. It’s an alright watch when one has nothing better to do, but it’s nowhere as amazing as what some reviews were making it out to be. Needless to say, file this one under “massively overrated”.