Deadstream is more than your average found footage horror film, as it is packed to the punch with so much energy, zest and macabre humour that it’s no wonder that it has been likened to something from The Evil Dead franchise.
It also tackles and in my humble opinion succeeds in making its unlikeable lead protagonist likeable.
The guy in question is Shawn Ruddy (Joseph Winter), a disgraced internet personality from his online prank show, Wrath of Shawn. Shawn tries to reanimate his audience and draw them back into his life by challenging himself to spend the night in a haunted house and livestream the whole event. Unfortunately he ends up royally pissing off a vengeful spirit and must do all he can to escape and survive the night.
The low budget aesthetics is part of the features appeal, utilising real effects to capitalise on the gritty realism of the supernatural and paranormal events that unfold. Keeping the location to a minimum, primarily at said haunted house, essentially a dilapidated building is also a smart move, allowing the creativity to run loose without being tied down to constantly having to relocate. It also allows time for the ambience to build and have fun when unleashing their vision.
The writing is witty and clever in that it plays it straight, so when the macabre mayhem unfolds, it is pure joy to watch.
Winter also writes and directs alongside his partner Vanessa, which indicates not only do they have a firm grasp of the material, so when delivered feels flawless, but this is clearly a labour of love for them and this oozes through every scene.
- Saul Muerte
Deadstream is currently streaming on Shudder ANZ.