The global coronavirus pandemic has forced creatives to get inventive when it comes to delivering stories, with director Rob Savage developing the horror film Host, which was shot completely under quarantine. Given that people around the world have been using the video chatting service Zoom to stay connected with one another for the last few months, the film embraces that tone by connecting its characters using a similar interface, forcing the film to find inventive ways to not only craft a compelling narrative for viewers, but also to deliver effective scares. Host is set to land on the streaming service exclusively on July 30th.
Host is the story of six friends who hire a medium to hold a séance over Zoom during lockdown, but they get far more than they bargain for as things quickly go wrong. When an evil spirit starts invading their homes, they begin to realize they might not survive the night. The film stars Haley Bishop (Deep State), Radina Drandova (Dawn of the Deaf), Edward Linard (The Rebels), Jemma Moore (Doom: Annihilation), Caroline Ward (Stalling It) and Emma Louise Webb (The Crown), who also operated their own cameras, helped pull off their own practical effects, and lit their own scenes. Due to social distancing precautions, Savage never set foot in the same room as his actors at any point during production and instead directed them remotely.
Earlier this year, Savage played a prank on his friends in which he was on a video call and went to investigate sounds he heard coming from his attic. During his investigation, he edited in a scene from the horror film [REC] to fully freak out his friends, with his prank going viral.
“We saw a short horror film Rob shot during quarantine that went viral, and we immediately asked if he had an idea for a full-length feature,” Craig Engler, Shudder’s General Manager, shared in a statement. “What he and his team created in Host surpassed all our expectations — it’s a great horror film that cleverly uses the idea of a Zoom séance to fashion a story that’s uniquely realistic and terrifying, with jaw-dropping stunts done entirely by the actors.”
“I’m a certified Shudder obsessive,” Savage added. “When lockdown began, I spent weeks bingeing everything on Shudder, so to find myself premiering a new film on the platform only a few months later is incredible. Shudder understood the potential of this mad little film from day one and totally supported us making it in our own way. It was such a rewarding process and the final product is something we're all so proud of. I hope this is the first of many collaborations!”
Host lands on Shudder on July 30th.
Are you looking forward to the film? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!