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Host (Shadow House Films) [Movie Review]

Horror expert and We’re Wolves frontman AJ Diaferio reviews Rob Savage’s Shudder exclusive, ‘Host,’ wherein a zoom hangout/seance goes wrong.



In the Shudder exclusive, Host, Six friends hire a psychic medium to hold a seance over zoom during the pandemic lockdown. Before they know it, strange things begin to happen around them.  Evil gets invited into their homes and begins to run amuck on their group; they realize they got more than they bargained for!

The film begins with the six friends meeting for their weekly zoom hangout. Haley (played by actress Haley Bishop) has been tasked with arranging the group’s activities. She surprises the group by organizing a Medium (played by actress Seylan Baxter) to perform a seance, who warns the group to take this seriously. Jemma (played by actress Jemma Moore) pranks everyone by making up a story about a guy in her school who committed suicide.

The medium begins to sense the presence of something dark being invoked. It seems that Jemma’s made-up story has allowed a demonic presence to cross over into their lives. Soon, everyone starts to notice strange things begin to happen around them during the meeting. The evil presence begins to make itself known, taking on the persona of the boy in Jemma’s story and wreaking havoc on everyone in the chat. They soon realize that this is all real and that a demonic entity has come forth to destroy them. The group fears for their lives as they try to leave their homes alive.

I found this film to be extremely enjoyable. It’s a quick in and out, with a runtime of over an hour. I loved that the filmmakers took the idea of “found footage” and gave it new life. This was one of those “make the most of the time in lockdown” situations. The cast and crew seemed to have a blast putting this all together. I fell down a Google rabbit hole after watching the film and learned how they pulled off this “shot entirely on Zoom chat” movie. The director, Rob Savage, sent the entire crew all the assets they needed to pull off those sequences, which I thought was really cool and innovative. Everyone filmed from their respective homes and pieced it all together in mostly one-take shots. You don’t see a lot of stuff like this, and I found it to be a breath of fresh air.

There are really killer jump scares and creepy moments. I’d give this a solid eight and highly recommend everyone give this one a watch. It’s quick and to the point. Great to watch with a group of friends. I warn you, though, some of the sequences may cause nausea from all the crazy camera movements.

Just goes to show you that you don’t need a lot of fancy locations and crazy CGI work to make something effective and scary. It is really cool to see something with originality come along to breathe new life into a quasi-subgenre within the horror blueprint of films like Paranormal Activity, REC, and VHS.

A+ for making the most out of the pandemic lockdown!

Director: Rob Savage
Screenplay: Rob Savage, Gemma Hurley, Jed Shepard
Starring: Haley Bishop, Jemma Moore, Emma Louise Webb, Radina Drandova, Caroline Ward, Alan Emrys, Seylan Baxter
Production Company: Shadowhouse Films
Release Date: December 4, 2020
Run Time: 1h 5m

AJ Diaferio in 2022

AJ Diaferio is best known as the frontman for the hard rock band. We’re Wolves. After garnering interest from millions of fans with their renditions of beloved active rock tracks, the group created their niche within heavy music with their debut album, Evil Things. Aside from being the band’s fearless leader, AJ is a self-proclaimed horror enthusiast and movie memorabilia collector. Diaferio’s fiery passion for movies and music are intertwined in every aspect of his work, making him a prime source for the latest in all things horror.

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