Host (2020)

A group of friends’ attempt to perform a séance goes terribly awry in this very shocking film that has become one of Shudder’s best originals to date.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of friends have been talking to each other via Zoom meetings. The friends consist of Haley, Jemma, Emma, Christine, Radica, and Teddy. One of the members will host with a different theme for the meetings. This time, it is Haley’s turn and she decides to make it fun and scary. She decides for the group to take part in a séance. When Haley brings in a medium to help with the séance, Jemma talks about a boy she once knew in school who hanged himself. When the connection of the medium cuts out, Jemma reveals it is a prank. However, that little prank has some very dire consequences as an entity has arrived to terrorize the group.

Written and directed by Rob Savage, before you can say Unfriended, this one takes the ghost in the computer and takes it to the next level. Savage has the cast chat via Zoom, at a time where we are dealing with a global pandemic. In addition, the film also involves a séance, which for the first time I can think of, is done in a virtual environment. It starts out a bit slow, but it’s expected as once the so-called “event” begins, that’s when it really picks up and then unloads into unbelievable mayhem.

The cast of characters are great in their roles especially once the scares start up. Haley Bennett, Jemma Moore, Emma Louise Webb, Radina Drandova, and Caroline Ward really bring out their emotions once all hell breaks loose. Edward Linard’s Teddy sporadically appears as he finds himself forced to leave the feed thanks in part to his girlfriend. However, he does find himself involved in the insane third act, where everyone goes insane with some excellent visual effects to enhance the scares. The film’s final ten minutes of its 56-minute running time are totally unforgettable and will embed in the minds of horror film fans old and new.

Host is one of the best horror films to scare the heck out of you this year. The cast unleash their emotions and the scares will lead you to the edge of your seat. It will make you think twice about performing a séance virtually.

WFG RATING: A+

Shudder presents a Shadowhouse Films production. Director: Rob Savage. Producers: Douglas Cox, Emily Gotto, and Samuel Zimmerman. Writer: Rob Savage. Editing: Breanna Rangott.

Cast: Haley Bennett, Jemma Moore, Emma Louise Webb, Radina Drandova, Caroline Ward, Edward Linard, Seylan Baxter, Alan Emrys, Jinny Lofthouse, James Swinton.

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