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Host review: Zoom calls will never be the same after watching this scare-fest

Host, which is shot entirely indoors, the makers manage to get the necessary spine-chilling moments with an apt storyline, a perfect background score, and above all, the unique look of it being a Zoom call

Prateek Sur | Updated on: Friday, May 14, 2021, 07:43 PM IST

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Horror is one genre that Hollywood filmmakers have sort of mastered the art of. Even with a small film like Host, which is shot entirely indoors, they manage to get the necessary spine-chilling moments with an apt storyline, a perfect background score, and above all, the unique look of it being a Zoom call. Masterstroke!

The movie begins with six friends wanting to do a séance together, but due to the pandemic and the lockdown, they decide to do it over a Zoom call. They get in touch with a mediator who helps them out. However, soon things start getting grim and one by one all of them start seeing and experiencing paranormal activities in their respective houses. Will they all be able to survive this? Or will they find out that it was all a big prank at the end? Well, that’s a surprise you’ll have to unlock for yourself.

Haley Bishop, Jemma Moore, Emma Louise Webb, Radina Drandova and Caroline Ward have managed to come up with picture-perfect performances. It seems like all of it is happening at one go and the actresses have made sure that they maintain that feel throughout. As the shots were kept only to their bust as in with a Zoom call, their facial expressions had to do the trick and in that, they succeed in expressing the best scares and chills. Teddy Linard and Seylan Baxter don’t have enough screen time, but they do their best in the minimal time they are seen.

The superb direction by Rob Savage coupled with the brilliant writing by him and his co-writers, Gemma Hurley and Jed Shepherd, is the best part about the movie. The concept of showing the entire film via a Zoom call is novel. To add to that, the chills and scares coming in at the exact necessary time make this movie worth every penny. The editing by Brenna Rangott is crisp and they make sure to finish the movie in around 56 minutes, which is pretty much the time frame of an entire Zoom call.

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The only shortcoming is the opening 10-12 minutes of the film, before the girls actually start doing the séance. Had it been chopped off the movie wouldn’t have had made it to a feature film length. But, yes, that part is something that will make you question why you’re watching the film.

Horror as a genre needs to have all aspects merge perfectly in order to make you close your eyes in fear. Host manages to do that in pretty much every frame once the séance starts. It’s a scare-fest.

Title: Host

Cast: Haley Bishop, Jemma Moore, Emma Louise Webb, Radina Drandova, Caroline Ward

Director: Rob Savage

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

Rating: 4 Stars

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Published on: Saturday, May 15, 2021, 07:00 AM IST