Using the computer screen as a storying telling device has proven rather sucessful in recent times with the likes of Searching and the Unfriended series getting lots of plaudits (including from myself). In a world where we’re all glued to our phones and tablets, there’s something very real about seeing a film that is exclusively from the viewpoint of a Skype call or, like new film Host, Zoom. I’d heard a lot about Shudder, the horror streaming site, and when I saw talk on Twitter of an ‘exclusive’ Zoom-based film from the service by Rob Savage, I snapped up the chance for a free trial.
Winning me over straight away with a delightful running time of just 57 minutes (can I get a hallelujah!?), Host joins the growing list of enjoyable films using such a film-making device. Focusing on a bunch of millennials taking part in an online seance conducted over Zoom, I wasn’t just impressed by the fact Savage created such a tense feat in a matter of weeks during Lockdown, but in less than an hour he was also able to build in cool character traits and relationships, from the paranormal sceptic to the fella with the overbearing partner. There’s also some neat little spooky bits that hang (literally) in the back of shots and although I did feel the last 10 minutes does get bogged down slightly in the lacklustre bang-bang-horror-shtick’s of slow door openings and floating bed sheets, I was too invested by then to really care.
A really impressive feat, both technically and creatively, with a female-centric cast who knock it out of the ballpark. I like my horror stuff, but I’m not one to scare too easily – but this had me on edge for the most part and that’s credit to all involved in this very natural feeling Zoom chiller. Go get your free trial at Shudder and check it out!