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In a year of tremendous panic and abundant strife at a widespread and nearly uninterrupted rate, Shudder is where many audiences, especially horror fans, managed to find the perfect escape, but in the most ironic way. That satisfying saving grace was Host, streaming now on the aforementioned platform that specializes in chills and thrills, which puts an intriguing supernatural twist on the era of Covid-19.
Director Rob Savage, along with his co-writers Gemma Hurley and Jed Shepherd, conceived the idea for Host as the UK was in lockdown, shot it entirely on the cast’s own webcams while under quarantine, and released the film in late July 2020, as the pandemic still showed no sign slowing down. The 57-minute film follows a group of socially distant friends who have chosen to conduct a seance as their Zoom meeting activity of the week. They soon learn, in the most devastating way, that contacting the dead comes with the same (if not worse) consequences over video call.
With a relatively simple and familiar premise enhanced by surprisingly convincing special effects, first-rate performances, and an impeccably timely and realistic reflection of real-world events, Host quickly became the must-see horror flick of year. It is actually hard to imagine meeting someone who has not seen it yet, but in case you are one of those people (either because scary movies are not your jam or this happens to be the first time you are hearing about the film), we got you covered. The following is a quick reference to how and where you can catch up on of 2020’s most surprising hits… if you dare.
Where Is Host Available To Stream?
As we established at the beginning, Host was released as a Shudder exclusive in the summer of 2020. Yet, if you are not a subscriber to the ultimate all-horror streaming platform, you can access most of its content (Host included) as an add-on to your Amazon Prime subscription.
Amazon also has the film available as a digital one-time rental or for purchase, while VOD services like Vudu, YouTube, and Google Play also offer with prices varying from $2.99 too $14.99. Plus, as of February 2, 2021, it will be available on Blu-Ray and DVD which I would personally recommend getting only if you have a disk-drive compatible laptop, for reasons I will get to soon.
Will Host Be On Netflix?
It is easy to understand why an average person would want to know if a film is or will ever be available on Netflix, especially considering its influence on home viewing and how some would rather pay for just one streaming service. Yet, in the case of Host, I am afraid you will be out of luck for the time being.
Once again, this modern ghost story was first released on Shudder, which still, and likely always will, retain the exclusive streaming rights. Of course, as we have also previously established, it can be found elsewhere for an extra cost, so you will never be out of options to join the circle.
If You Have Already Seen Host...
Now, in the event that you have already joined the circle and, thankfully, survived, I imagine you still got Host on the brain and want to know more about it. Well, we have a “host” of content that should satisfy your cravings.
For one, we have a thorough explanation supporting our belief that the film is best viewed the same way it was shot - directly from your computer screen - for the most immersive and truly frightening experience possible. To put into perspective just how frightening it is, we also compared Host to Blumhouse’s surprise 2015 hit Unfriended to determine which “video call horror movie” makes better use of its unique format.
What do you think? Does Host quality as the current crown jewel of this emerging subgenre, or had you never even heard of such a concept before? Once you have brought yourself up to speed, let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for additional information and updates on one of horror’s best surprises in recent memory, as well as even more tips on what to watch and where, here on CinemaBlend.