Straight off the bat, I have to proclaim that I am not a massive fan of the found footage genre. There have been some exceptions, primarily Spanish horror flick, [REC], and as much as it pains me, I’ve come to appreciate The Blair Witch Project over the years for how it’s simple storytelling and tapping into the wake of the internet boom.
Check out the Surgeons team on the Found Footage genre here
Similarly, Host capitalises on the current social climate and the restrictions that COVID 19 has had on the Arts. Unlike the film Unfriended which tried to harness the ever-changing social media landscape to project fear onto the screens, but ultimately falling short of expectations, Director Rob Savage, crafts a clever and creative script using the minimal amount of tools to his advantage, shooting everything through Zoom links and relying heavy on his cast to create the lighting, stunts, and visual effects needed to pull off the story and make it seem believable.
The narrative takes place with a group of friends meeting together via Zoom to initiate a seance, conducted by a medium, Seylan. It all seems innocent with some of the group not entirely taking it seriously, but as events play out, it soon takes a sinister turn with the group unwittingly calling in a demonic entity into their fold. Can they ward off this evil presence, or will it slowly and violently take them out?
Don’t be turned off by the remarkably short running time, Host packs in a lot into the story with great performances and strong characters. Not all of them are likeable, but that’s the point. You have to have a few that you wish to get their comeuppance and those that you genuinely hope to survive their ordeal. Savage has proved himself a compelling storyteller as a result, while taking a simple enough premise and weaving a delightfully dark tale with minimal tools at hand. It goes to show that you don’t need a lot to create a little bit of magic and by tapping into the social mainstream, breathe life into the found footage genre once more.
- Saul Muerte