Horrortoberfest ’20 Day 16 – Host (2020)

 

It’s still Tech Horror Week and we movie to a very recently made movie. So recently made, in fact, that it takes place during Covid lockdown with a bunch of friends getting together over a Zoom call. I almost didn’t do this one since it’s actually less than feature length, clocking in at just under an hour long. However, then I remembered I have to watch 31 of these movies this month and decided to take my half hour extras where I can get them.

Stuck inside due to Covid, Haley gets the bright idea that what they should do together for fun as a group is a séance. She gets a medium that she has apparently done these before with and gets all her friends in on the call. As one can probably guess from the fact that this is a horror movie, not everything goes according to plan and something is summoned that they didn’t intend to. Now they get to scream at each other over webcams while spooky shit happens.

There are actually several things that I really enjoyed about this short film. First was the actual use of Zoom as a framing device since, for some reason, whenever one of these films decides to use a not-quite the real thing version of a thing that exists is irks me. Like instead of Facebook, the movie has the characters on MyFace or whatever. Also, the entire film is essentially set-ups that the movie actually pays off. Maybe I am just still salty about Deadcon not paying anything off but every single thing that gets set up in the background or as a character trait eventually gets used during the run time.

I think the tech use in this was clever and used to enhance the movie rather than just being a gimmick. The Zoom backgrounds that obscure things, the face filters to make you look different, and even he lag all plays into the tension. While the video chat concept for a horror movie is not new by any means, I do think that this does a very good job on a low budget. Honestly, the one thing that wasn’t really great was the spirit itself. Once we get to briefly see the entity that’s fucking with these girls; it looks like those early ’00s pop-up scares where it would be like a picture that it tells you to find something hidden and then a spooky face pops out and screams. I probably could have done without seeing it at all.

Overall, it manages to pack plenty of tension and scares into a small package. Perfect for a meta watchalong with your friends over Zoom (not sponsored). Given the short run time, it is entirely worth watching since even if you don’t like it, you didn’t waste that much time.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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