Review: Host (Shudder)

Six friends get together during lockdown for their weekly zoom call. It’s Haley’s turn to organise an activity and instead of a quiz, she’s arranged for a Medium to conduct a séance. Bored and feeling mischievous, Jemma decides to have some fun and invents a story about a boy in her school who hanged himself. However, her prank gives license for a demonic presence to cross over, taking on the guise of the boy in Jemma’s made-up story. The friends begin noticing strange occurrences in their homes as the evil presence begins to make itself known, and they soon realise that they might not survive the night.

A lot of horror fans had a line up for 2020 releases to go see in theaters, and, obviously, it didn’t pan out. Those same fans have felt a hunger in them for something new to watch. Something that could be considered a hidden gem – even better.

Fans of the genre, we have received horror blessings upon our lives. Something new, and creative, and good came out of this chaotic year.

Enter the 2020 Shudder Original: Host.

I will admit up front: I didn’t jump on to watch, initially. I added it to my list because the concept sounded enjoyable, but it wasn’t a priority right away.

To say I regret waiting is an understatement.

This film, made during and set during the quarantine of 2020, really hits home for a lot of viewers at the moment. Life is primarily at home, with Skype or Zoom calls to get our social interaction from. Host wastes absolutely no time turning something we all experience right now into a nightmare.

The plot is tight, and the runtime is just barely under an hour. We’re quickly and smoothly introduced to our characters, and their personalities all shine so brightly, we feel like we could know these girls (and Teddy, of course), without having to take too much time exploring their personal lives. Also appreciated is the twists and turns, even if some are smaller, that happen. I thought I had everything pegged right away, and I was pleasantly surprised I was wrong on several of those guesses.

When the horror starts, you have to buckle up. It’s intense. Don’t expect 40 minutes of casual chat and 15 of scares – they come hard and fast. I am rarely scared watching horror movies, because I’ve become fairly desensitized over the many years I’ve loved the genre. But several scares and scenes left me unnerved, and I truly appreciate that.

If you have Shudder, definitely check this one out! If not, you can get a free trial, and stick around if you dig Shudder. Personally, it’s one of my favorite streaming sites. It’s affordable. It’s full of horror. What’s not to love?

Have you watched Host yet?


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