Road Rash Reviews

Host Review****-

Cert 15 | 57 mins | 2020

4 stars of refreshingly different and terrifying horror.

Host is a Shudder Original film, now available on Limited Edition Blu-ray. Written by Gemma Hurley, Jed Shepherd and Rob Savage who also directs, this timely and insightful film is a fantastic offering from these relative unknowns.

The genius of this film lies in its brilliant capture of a snapshot in time at the end of one of the strangest years ever, which is sure to resonate with audiences everywhere.

“So, because we’re doing this over Zoom, what it does mean is that we’re slightly less protected than we might have been, so it’s very important that you respect the spirits and you respect each other.”

Haley (Haley Bishop – Angel Has Fallen) has come up with a novel idea for her hosting of the weekly Zoom meet up between herself and her six friends. She has invited another friend of hers Seylan (Seylan Baxter – Doctor Who) who is a medium, to conduct a virtual seance for them over the internet.

Right from the start it goes the way of most Zoom sessions, with Jemma (Jemma Moore – Doom: Annihilation) leaving her phone audio on and appearing twice, much to her amusement, while Caroline (Caroline Ward – Hero of the Hour) is having problems with her dad Pat (Patrick Ward), who doesn’t like being cooped up in the house and keeps wandering off.

Emma (Emma Louise Webb) is  nervous about the whole thing and Radina  (Radina Drandova) is distracted, she’s living with her boyfriend during lockdown and finding they didn’t know each other as well as they thought. Teddy (Edward Linard – The Rebels) is also struggling to focus, he’s moved in with his girlfriends family and they have a huge bar.

Seylan warns everyone to be respectful, but inevitably when drink is involved things begin to deteriorate and our unwitting friends send out an open invitation for a demonic force to join their weekly Zoom meeting.

Host is a genuinely enjoyable but very scary film. There are a few brilliant jump scares and the very nature of the subject brings the tension, most of the friends are alone in their homes (as is the majority of the country) and things that go bump in the night suddenly seem a whole lot scarier. Even more so because they can see events playing out in each others homes. It is quite brutal in places with no shortage of fruity language and I would not recommend it for the faint of heart.

The lack of music or added background noises, coupled with some amazingly natural acting performances, make this a truly inspired horror film, a must watch for fans of the genre and a lasting tribute to these strange times. It is now available on Limited Edition Blu-ray packed with a great array of special features to enhance your experience.

“Happy spookies!”

Host is available to buy now on Limited Edition Blu-ray

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • New exclusive commentary by Director Rob Savage and Producer Douglas Cox
  • New exclusive cast commentary
  • New exclusive cast interview
  • Behind-the-Scenes feature
  • ‘Is There Goblins Now?’ the original prank video
  • ‘Kate Scare’ prank video test run
  • Rob Savage’s short films Dawn of the Deaf and Salt
  • The Host Team Séance
  • BFI Q&A with Rob Savage, Gemma Hurley, Jed Shepherd, Douglas Cox, Haley Bishop, Brenna Rangott, Caroline Ward
  • Evolution of Horror interview with Rob Savage, Gemma Hurley and Jed Shepherd

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS

  • Rigid slipcase featuring new artwork by Thomas Walker
  • Perfect-bound booklet with the original story outline and new essays by Ella Kemp and Rich Johnson
  • 6 collectors’ art cards

DirectorRob Savage
GenreHorror
StarringHaley Bishop, Jemma Moore, Caroline Ward, Edward Linard, Seylan
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