A horror film made during the quarantine era deserves our respect and fans will appreciate some new material to quench their thirst but is this UNFRIENDED type ZOOM based horror really the best horror film of 2020?
There is a lot to admire in Rob Savage’s feature debut that runs for a mere 56 minutes and yet packs enough horror moments than many films fail to achieve in a longer running time.
Its tight, moves along with a brisk pace and has some startling moments that will no question, end that long itch for some brand new horror material and while you can not help but be impressed with it all, you won’t exactly be blown away by it either.
The plot is simple. Six friends all in lockdown, get together on ZOOM to do a séance with an Irish spiritualist Seylan (Seylan Baxter). While Haley (Haley Bishop) takes the whole thing seriously, the rest of the girls, sip their drinks and play around, despite Seylan clearly stating not to disrespect those who may be listening.
Its from here that all the horror beats will be a tad too familiar among horror fans. While we watch the girls talk and the chaos slowly starts, many of you will be straining in the far corner of each split screen to see if there are any ghostly goings on and while the talk and each performance from everyone involved feels real, there is a lack of freshness when the horror hits.
Is that a complaint? Not really, I mean HOST is a good horror film in which Savage has done wonders to deliver, but when we have had the likes of UNFRIENDED and Paranormal Activity, its hard to get really excited when we see yet another ceiling light start to swing spookily in the background.
That’s not to say there are a tiny few decent set-pieces that add a little sprinkle of unpredictability, but most of them you will see coming, which is no fault to anyone involved as its hard to offer new surprises in a well known genre.
The best thing for HOST is that it has been released during a time when new horrors are scarce and for that alone it feels like a much needed addition and with its lean mean running time, the horror comes quickly enough to get you on board and while you will never be bored and will be thoroughly entertained, you won’t be grasping your armchair in sheer terror either.
It may not be the film that adds something something new to the horror genre, but its possibly the entry the genre needs at the moment and for that we should be very grateful to Savage and to all those involved.