The ‘mood of lock-down’ has been super dull and exhausting. The only thing that’s been keeping everyone sane, including myself, is those virtual parties where you can hang with friends and family via Zoom. Now imagine an unknown presence attends your group call only to leave you horror-stricken for life?
What makes a good horror flick? The ominous music, the flickering of lights & an eerie presence loitering to-and-fro in the frame, cinematography & mise-en-scene and not to forget an efficient cast that can resonate with the audience. What ‘Host’ has is all these wonderful elements and a plot so relatable it’s guaranteed to be a quarantine-masterpiece!
Available on the streaming platform, Shudder, the ‘Host‘ has been receiving great response from reputed stars for its screenplay and direction. Horror author Joe Hill, and actor Elijah Woods to name a few. Written by Shepherd, Gemma Hurley and Rob Savage, and directed by Savage, this most-on-the-pulse horror is based on curiosity, a seance but this time over a Zoom call. Because even if you summon a ghost, social distancing is imperative!
The horror flick starts off like most movie that falls in this genre: six friends asking for trouble.
Gathering for a seance? That surely won’t have a happy ending. Six friends with zero respect for the fear of the unknown invite a sinister force onto their video chat. The movie doesn’t abruptly devolve into a series of horror, instead the sinister build-up is so realistic. Like any other bunch of friends who stay miles apart due to social distancing rules, the group finds solace playing quizzes, a happy hour and a movie-marathon, all via Zoom.
Soon entertainment turns into a night of catastrophe. Sudden noises, objects flying around and unsettling paranormal outbursts are just few things within the move that gives you the chills. If you wish to learn a lesson from horror films, be it The Exorcist (1973) or even the very recent, Conjuring series, they preach the same, ‘Never mess with the dead.’
Or as the famous quote from the movie, The Blair Witch Project, “Damn fool kids’ll never learn.” Indeed, that’s true.
While the film industry has come to a halt with the deadly pandemic invading businesses, an entire film over an app is something worth celebrating. This movie is turning out to be the best part of the Covid-era and there is no denial. However, the origin story for the movie’s production is credited to the director Rob Savage.
It merely began as a prank by Savage on his friends, who happen to be the cast of this film. A creative lock-down video that explored a case of playfully encountering the unknown forces. He prepared a short video on Zoom investigating strange noises in the attic and showing a demonic-monster thing jump out from the darkness. Moments later this iconic video went viral leading to becoming the feature film it is today!
Though ‘Host‘ is giving nightmares to the audience, Savage feels super-detached about the whole thing. In an interview with The Telegraph, he mentioned:
“We made it sitting in our homes via Zoom and it’s been released while we’re still sitting in our homes and talking to people via Zoom.”
Be it The Blair Witch Project with the shaky cam, first-person experience or the Paranormal franchise that monitors each room to reveal a spirit or the Dark-web terror, Unfriended that starts over a computer video call has all been done and dusted. But what keeps this so real is the timing. ‘Host’ similar to the host in a zoom call has so much to fear for. The background of each caller with too many doors and space to startle even the bravest soul with the slightest movement. Those are some of the haunting effects the movie relies on.
Some of its familiar features, such as – filters, customs backgrounds or the free call time limit add up to the horrifying experience that ‘Host’ is. Once you watch the movie, you can never schedule a meeting on Zoom without an iota of fear!
Interestingly due to lock-down confining us to our homes, the cast and crew discussed everything on zoom. They attempted a real seance over Zoom and many unexplained moments took place that was later edited into the film. Writer Shepherd mentioned with a tinge of laughter that, “They were so careful not to disrespect the spirits.”
The production of the film was horrifying in itself that one of the cast members dialed another cast member to find out if things were okay. That was the magnitude of the ghost sightings that scarred each of the crew mates for eternity.
If your personality resonates with bravery, this is the film for you. Dare yourself to watch this alone and in darkness and if a malevolent presence haunts you, remember you cannot simply leave the zoom meeting!
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