Host

get (one) where (one) lives | idiom

To affect one on a personal or intimate level.
Example: That film reflected a lot of my own experiences, it really got me where I live.

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That’s a quick definition of the expression but if you want a full understanding of what it means then I suggest you watch Host. For many of us the place ‘where we live’ has also become the place where we work and socialise and to some extent we might feel like we are actually residing online. Home invasion horror films have long been a thing with Halloween, Funny Games and Scream and more recently You’re Next and Us but this one ticks the old box and the new, taking place entirely in peoples houses and on a Zoom call. So much of it is going to be so very familiar to so many people. It’s going to get you literally where you live. It will get you too, Host is genuinely scary.

Of course with all of this Host is probably the most 2020 film of 2020. None of this is coincidental. Plenty of movies end up being prescient and topical but Host was made in lockdown about the lockdown. When the (very good) sci-fi film Monsters came out lots was made of the fact that all of the effects where done on director Gareth Edwards home computer and Steven Soderbergh’s Unsane was shot on an iPhone so the idea that we’ve all got the kit to make a movie has been around for a while. Here though Rob Savage has gone as far as to use an open access free software program that the whole world has been using regularly since March.

You still don’t just need a webcam and the internet to make a good movie though (I suspect Savage has some neat editing and screen capture gear too), you need smart ideas and a strong cast. Fortunately this movie has lots of both. The bumps and boos are relatively standard but they are so well executed and they make the absolute most of the conceit. There is plenty of stuff going on in darkened doorways and over people’s shoulders as six uni friends take part in a virtual seance but the film makes clever use of the Zoom functions too. I defy anyone to watch it and stay mute and without using the full range of reactions.

The young cast of mostly women sell it all brilliantly as well. Host originally showed on the genre streaming service Shudder but was so successful it is now in select cinemas and on iTunes. Just like the movie, I am sure the actors will all impress and go on to bigger, more high profile things.

It is very frightening, I was both gripped by it and willing it to end (fortunately Zoom calls only last forty minutes), but if you like this kind of stuff this is very very highly recommended.

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