Until someone makes a film about a haunted sourdough starter, this ingenious horror movie will remain the zeitgeistiest thing to emerge from lockdown. Major props to director Rob Savage and his cobbled-together cast and crew for whipping up something this fresh and freaky while the rest of us were busy trying to keep up with Joe Wicks on YouTube.
The premise has a group of uni mates catching up on Zoom, laughing, in-joking, doing shots and grousing about being stuck inside quarantining as they wait for the star attraction to turn up. She turns out to be a medium who promises to connect them with spirits. She forgets to tell them that taking the piss during the seance could have very grim consequences. They take the piss. It has very grim consequences.
Host wears its debt to found-footage horrors like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity on its sleeve, while briskly reworking the formula into a laptop-based horror with big jumps and relatable bits where the wifi craps out. The meat of it unfolds within the familiar parameters of a 45-minute Zoom call, but there’s enough creepy atmospherics and nastiness crammed in to leave you drained when the call ends. If you’re after a film to scare you witless and teach you the ins and outs of video conferencing, look no further.
Streaming in the UK now and in cinemas Fri Dec 4.