Living in quarantine is hard enough. Even harder when you want to hold a séance but only have Zoom to help.
Shudder hosts a seance for you to watch from the comfort of your home as we are in the social distancing era.
Good thing for us that we are in the golden age of app cable! Shudder is a good place for horror fans of all genres and it doesn’t disappoint with its exclusive content!
Six friends get together during lockdown for their weekly Zoom call. It’s Hayley’s turn to organize an activity, and instead of a quiz, she’s arranged for a medium to conduct a séance.
Bored and feeling mischievous, Jemma decides to have some fun and invents a story about a boy in her school who hanged himself. However, her prank gives a license for a demonic presence to cross over, taking on the boy’s guise in Jemma’s made-up story.
The friends begin noticing strange occurrences in their homes as the evil presence begins to make itself known.
Today On Shudder
I saw the summary today on Shudder and thought it was good to have a movie reflecting what 2020 is about. I clicked play while my hubby was headphones into his phone, watching his stuff.
Everyone who knows me knows I’m a horror fanatic. My favorite genre is “found footage,” and I know it can be a hit and miss. In fact, a significant percentage of the horror fan community despise the genre.
On my part, I find that it can be quite gripping when it is well delivered. It makes it personal and shows you only what you need to know to have the wanted response.
Also, it gives liberty to many indie directors and movie companies to shine with little budgets.
At First Gore
The overall look of the movie is quite basic but intelligent. It would be just like you and me starting a group chat on Zoom. I can entirely relate as I’ve done group chats and one on one friend video call but used other companies to do so.
The movie starts with the Zoom screen and someone moving the mouse for you. I liked it. Slowly, the friend group joins until they are all together. Hayley wants a little paranormal fun, and that’s right up my alley.
We see the typical bedroom, living room, kitchen, whatever place they have as a background. It’s a good house video chat call with everyone’s laptop. Might I be the only one left on Earth with a desktop computer?
I get it. Everyone wants a portable device. I have a laptop myself. I just prefer using my desktop for calls, better quality all around in my case.
So everything is ready for a spooky call once the Medium comes to join the group chat because Shudder hosts a seance for you to watch!
Don’t Con The Cons!
The social distancing séance doesn’t require an Ouija board since they have the Medium as the vehicle. She guides the group on how to go about it. How to protect themselves by creating a circle in their minds.
Each of them has a candle to light. Also, these friends have something to imagine in their minds to connect one to another. It can be used to divide or leave if need be.
All is well until you realize that Jemma is not entirely convinced about ghosts and spirits. I mean, not many of us believe in Mediums, to begin with, am I right?
Nothing happening, the group tries to find something that might be strange, but the ghosts are relatively quite. That is until Jemma screams after a scratch on her neck. She tells this elaborate story about a boy she went to school with. Jack was a nice boy and helped her once but ended up hanging himself.
Suddenly, the link cuts with the Medium. As my friend, James would say, “Technology, to make your life easier.” You know those video chat app, there’s always something! It freezes, cuts, hangs up, delays between sound and image, poor quality camera, and so on.
However, in this particular case, Jack was a fake, made-up story and character.
Don’t Mess With Hell
Without revealing any spoilers as the movie just came out on Shudder, I can tell you a few things.
Because of the quarantine and the virus, the world is completely shut down, and social distancing is necessary. This movie reflects what we are going through. In a way, this is close to home. It felt right.
The séance, of course, goes entirely south. As a certified demonologist, I can say that it is altogether accurate what the Medium says. What happens to each of them is what I could see a quite angry entity do.
Host is not reinventing the wheel here. What you see from the entity is part of the found footage genre with the invisible.
Jemma created something and gave it life. How? She opened the door when calling it. Shudder hosts a seance for you to watch even though Jemma might not be as inclined to that.
What To Expect
Host is not a found footage because it happens “live” as friends experience paranormal activity—no pun intended. So, as far as you watch, it’s “live.”
Despite the Medium coming back on the phone and explaining what went wrong, it doesn’t stop the entity from spreading. So, expect to be watching the movie like you’re an invisible and unseen friend in the group.
You are watching at a computer screen with the Zoom interface on looking at five cameras. It’s quite well done because you think the focus will be on one friend and it’ll stop being a conference but no. It keeps going, and it’s fantastic.
The Paranormal Factor
As I’ve said before, Host is not reinventing the wheel. However, it shows new tricks and combines good useful entity reactions.
It actually gave me ideas for my own novel. The Paranormal Activity influence is only the camera in this case for reasons I can’t say. You must watch it!
I jumped twice. I was expecting something but not what happened. It got me. Well done, Host! It’s hard to have me jump. You don’t see much of the entity, which is a good choice. The reactions from the actors to what unravels before their eyes are spot on.
The entity wants to guilt trip Jemma, and it splendidly works. You don’t need to physically terrorize or torment someone to torture them. Watching is just as good if not even more effective.
Overall Horror Thinking
Shudder hosts a seance for you to watch and this movie is a good watch. I recommend it. You won’t feel alone in this social distancing era that we are living in.
The movie is perfect for reminding us of the importance of respecting social distancing while bringing fun into our home.
It’s also giving us a good idea to keep us entertained, Zoom séance here I come!
Now, let me contact some of my friends to organize this social distancing Ouija thing. Let’s see if I can make up a friend. So, see you soon or never, I guess!
Remember, wear your mask when going out is a must or stay home otherwise! Be safe, be brave, we’ll get through this!