HOST | FILM REVIEW
Dir: Rob Savage (15, 56 mins)
For those who missed this innovative horror, now is the time to catch up with a true film of 2020. Filmed entirely on Zoom, Rob Savage’s terrifying online séance uses every trick in the book to soil your trousers. A group of six friends decide to have an online meeting during lockdown, but instead of the usual pub quiz setup, Haley Bishop decides to go for something more potentially disturbing. Played by the director’s group of friends and displaying a rawness that blends improvisation with seamless homemade VFX, this is a film to watch on your laptop with the lights on.
Warned by séance leader Seylan Baxter not to disrespect the spirit world, cocky thrillseeker Jemma Moore does just that, waxing lyrical about a boy who killed himself from her school days. The results are demonic: the friends may not last the Zoom call. Savage expands on his initial prank short, which became a viral hit where he edited in footage from a horror film with a ravenous child zombie into an actual live Zoom with his friends, turning it into a brutally lean scarefest that is all about what you don’t quite see.
Dark corridors and kitchens in suburban houses become full of menace. It amalgamates all the techniques from found-footage horrors like Blair Witch, Rec and Paranormal Activity: the strange noise, the sudden opening of a door, a scary clown puppet and far, far more into a tense, winningly jump-scared, watching-through-your-fingers hour. The cast are raw and game for the experience, stunt work seamlessly thrown in with brutal effect. Catch this when you can and see out this horrifying year in style.
Available on Shudder now
words KEIRON SELF