Fail, fail, fail, fail, succeed

No Resources? No Problem!


“Host,” a British horror film directed by Rob Savage and released in July 2020, could surely be the poster child for making the most of some rather severe limitations. Let’s start with my two-word synopsis: Zoom seance. Sure, we’ve all seen countless seance movies—but a remote seance on Zoom? I think not.

Shot at the height of the COVID lockdown, it must have made perfect sense at the time. Everyone had to work remotely, so why not make a movie out of a Zoom meeting? Sounds like a recipe for disaster—unless you can be ruthlessly creative. Creativity trumps (almost) everything, and clearly, this wasn’t a problem for the filmmakers.

This might be a good time to give my assessment of the results: 100% fucking brilliant. As a lifetime horror film buff, I’m not easy to impress, but this 56-minute film was absolutely terrifying. The actors killed it, working with a script outline that allowed for improvisation. Improvising scenes remotely? Surely that can’t be done, right? Wrong. The dialog and interaction between the actors was astonishingly realistic. Robert Altman would be proud.

Speaking of which, the actors did their own camera work AND stunts. Say what?! You heard me—I didn’t think it was possible either. But trust me, it is. I actually got chills watching it, and again, you don’t get much more jaded than me.

I’ve slowly become quite a fan of “found footage” horror. It provides a low-budget entry point for filmmakers hoping to break in, and this is a perfect example why.

Think you can’t do something because you lack the resources? Think again. Necessity is truly the mother of invention.