Host (2020)

“Host” is one of those movies that comes out of nowhere, and reminds horror fans why they love the genre in the first place. It’s likely one of the first movies that was shot entirely during quarantine, and it demonstrates how a solid, scary horror movie doesn’t need much in the way of cinematic presentation: The screen is divided in several sections (a la “Timecode”), each populated with a likable, distinctly developed character with effectively established dynamics, and the scares start almost immediately. That’s where the movie shines the most: Director Rob Savage does a great job of timing the various scares and to exploit the other characters’ fears in order to heighten the impact of every jump scare, which has an extraordinarily powerful effect of making the viewer feel like they’re part of the action. It’s not exactly a masterpiece or anything but it’s so effective at what it does that you just have to respect it. Additionally, it’s nice that the movie is just about an hour because it doesn’t overstay its welcome nor does it suffer from the limitations of its flat visual presentation and tightly contained narrative. For an experience horror fan like me to scream in fear a few times during a one-hour movie, I’d say “Host” is an above-average scare-fest that will likely leave goosebumps on even a seasoned horror viewer.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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