A desperate web influencer goes into a haunted house to do a livestream for sponsors in a bid to make money and save himself from debt in Deadstream – a diverting, funny, mostly one-man horror show that blends Paranormal Activity, Scooby-Doo, Dashcam and Host. Placing a series of cameras around a house in the middle of nowhere where various murders and evil acts have taken place, presenter Shawn of the Wrath Of Shawn channel (a very game Joseph Winter) invites his viewers to watch. They suggest things for him to do, keeping an eye on the various camera streams he sets up around the house.
A barrage of texts and photos come up alongside the main action, allowing the audience to see threats before Shawn does – as well as provide an ironic commentary on the action and lampoon the asinine comments of livestreaming fans. As a slow build of tension continues, uberfan Chrissie shows up; Shawn’s viewers want her to stay and before you know it, there are two roaming cameras waiting for stuff to jump out of the shadows. But is his new companion all that she appears?
Manipulative and knowing, with bangs and shadowy figures escalating the tension, Deadstream also has camera lights going on and off at opportune moments and some gruesome creatures. The script is also peppered with barbs about social influencers that mostly land amidst the demon books, ouija boards, Evil Dead-esque gore and hijinks.
Creatively shot, with a winning blend of humour and out-and-out hiding-behind-cushion terror, this is anchored by a winning performance by Winter, who manages to straddle obnoxious and sympathetic with needy aplomb. Recommended to Halloween horror seekers, Deadstream is a fun solo rollercoaster of darkly comic nastiness.
Dir: Vanessa & Joseph Winter (18, 87 mins)
Streaming on Shudder now
words KEIRON SELF