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Movie Review - Host

This 2020 Quarantine found footage film has gotten a ton of positive reviews so I decided to check out the movie on Shudder. I was surprised that it is short, only 56 minutes, but I found that it was so tense at times as to feel much, much longer.

The story takes the somewhat tired horror movie cliché of a séance gone wrong and adds the also played out found footage element that is surprisingly effective. Taking place during lock down due to COVID, there is no escapism to be found here. Although it would be nice not to think of the pandemic for a while, the fact that it is spawning films that feature COVID 19 helps to document all of our recent experiences and is therefore kind of a cool development in art mirroring life.

There is no stunning cinematography to be found here. The effects are not phenomenal. The story line seems fairly predictable at times, but the execution was superb. This is where Host shines. It feels real. It feels present and off-putting if not downright scary.

I will admit, there is the need for some suspension of disbelief during parts of the movie. Without giving too much away, it seems like none of these people have ever heard of 911 which to me would be the first logical recourse when everything is going wrong. In addition, there were a couple pandemic-specific aspects that are not integrated enough in our culture to translate well into this film, such as putting on a mask when fleeing a demon-infested apartment or doing a socially distant hello in the midst of sheer panic. Those aspects aside, I very much enjoyed watching it and would recommend taking the hour out of your life as I found myself entertained, creeped out, and tense for the majority of it.

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