31 Days of Hallowe’en 2022, Day 24: Host [2020]


I saw this film after too much hype had passed and it’s my own damn fault. I seem to have a complicated relationship with found footage in that I almost roll my eyes at its cheap tricks – mainly of it being immersive by design (and seemingly effortlessly so, like they’re not even trying, but actually a ton of work goes into that), but then after I watch a found footage movie I end up liking almost all of them because I was both enthralled by the story and genuinely scared by the scares (which hardly ever happens these days).

Host, directed by Rob Savage, garnered mountains of buzz owing to the fact that it was shot during the 2020 covid-19 lockdowns and takes place entirely over a Zoom call. It’s already got the aforementioned immersive nature thanks to it being found footage, but over a year in which everyone and their mum got together over Zoom – for interviews, work, socialising, even Christmas and wedding celebrations – that this makes it that much more terrifying when set against the real-life horror of the early days of the (still awful) global pandemic.

The film follows a group of friends who, possibly out of pure lockdown boredom, conduct a séance with a medium. But, as is usually the case in this genre, something starts to feel a bit off and the group starts to fear that they’re unleashed something malevolent.

[SPOILER about what doesn’t happen in the end – but thereby ruling it out for you – after the jump]

Continue reading