The Horror Show

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by Rob Savage

I was kind of afraid that we would get more movies with the “group chat” set up that started with movies like the Unfriended series & The Den. I really didn't see how filmmakers could make use of this style without it getting old. I mean, it's so niche.

Then 2020 happened; what was once niche is now normal. Zoom is how we connect to our business and how our kids go to school. Now Zoom can also help angry spirits and/or demons enter our homes and break things. At least they do in the film I just watched called Host.

Six friends meet up in a Zoom chat to do a seance online since everyone has been quarantined due to Corona. Why not? I'm not gonna lie, when I read the synopsis, I laughed out loud. This just sounds ridiculous, but I sucked it up and proceeded.

I was shocked, it actually wasn't bad! Emma has invited her five friends, Jemma, Haley, Radina, Caroline, and Teddy, to join her and a medium, Seylan, in this online séance. They all join in with a candle and an object that belonged to the loved one they want to contact. Jemma makes a silly joke by making up a dead friend, Jack, that is contacting her. By doing this she accidentally invites an evil presence to join the Zoom call and start killing.

The characters were all pretty likable, unlike the ones in either of the Unfriended films. The girls were not annoying and you really start to get a feel for who they are. The only downside was Teddy. Teddy was the only annoying one really. I didn't see a point to his character at all and the movie would have been fine without him.

This film has the limitations you would expect from being shot on laptops and phones. That didn't stop them from pulling off some creepy little scares here and there. I was shocked at how good the effects were. Granted, it is a very jump scare heavy movie, but there is a fair amount of tension as well, so the jump scares feel earned.

The only faults I can find in the movie are minor. Some of the dialogue can feel forced and sometimes the audio was a bit too quiet, but that's it.

Host isn't some great masterpiece, but at just an hour you really can't lose. It was a fun little bit of horror during a horrible time. Maybe you can give it a watch at your next online viewing party. Host is now streaming on Shudder.

Sea Fever is out on DVD and On Demand now.

Robin Thompson, HMS

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