My Top 20 Scares of 2020: #10

This is the third found footage film on my top 20 list but it’s not the last. I watched a lot of found footage this year and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that it feels extra real during Covid. Almost all my real-life interactions are also happening on a computer screen, so found footage feels a lot more close to home than it usually does. And it normally feels pretty dang close-to-home.

That’s kind of the whole point.

My number 10 fave of 2020 is the found footage scare that I think made the best use of the genre. That movie is:

#10. HOST (2020)

(c) HOST 2020

A movie as quintessentially 2020 as Rob Savage’s HOST deserves a place on this list. Watching it during quarantine was a weirdly cathartic experience. I already wrote in detail about how fun it was to “participate” in the Zoom séance, an activity I still fully recommend you go do right now. This movie is a straightforward angst-fest that never tries to be more than it is: there’s no musing about pandemic life or the nature of intimacy and connection online. It’s a tightly-paced and decently acted paranormal thriller with a couple stellar scares. It’s effectiveness comes entirely from the feeling that it could be happening in your living room.

…Maybe it is?

How Did It Score
  • How scary was it? 3.5/5
  • How memorable was it? 2/5
  • Was it a Quality film? 4.5/5
    • Points for the very excellent use of genre/form.
  • How about those women? 4/5
    • Here is how HOST scores on each of the gender tests:
      • Bechdel-Wallace Test: Pass
      • Sexy Lamp Test: Pass
      • Willis Test: Pass
      • Ko Test: Pass
      • Roxane Gay Test: Fail on most points.
      • Carie-Burns Test: Pass. Technically. The last two living characters are women. It seems like they die right at the end (or right after) but they for sure survive the longest, even they don’t actually survive very long.
  • Total points: 14/20

Have you watched HOST yet? What are you waiting for?!?

Published by Brandy N. Carie

Playwright. Director. Producer. Dramaturg. I like coffee and Whisky and dogs and talking in person.

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