Directed by Rob Savage (Dawn of the Deaf), who wrote the script with Gemma Hurley and Jed Shepherd, Host was shot remotely in the actors’ homes during quarantine and adheres to social distancing rules with inventive ways to deliver the scares, stunts and surprises expected from a horror pic.
Host follows six friends who hire a medium to hold a séance via Zoom during lockdown — but they get far more than they bargain for as things quickly go wrong. When an evil spirit starts invading their homes, they begin to realize they might not survive the night. The movie stars Haley Bishop (Deep State), Radina Drandova (Dawn of the Deaf), Edward Linard (The Rebels), Jemma Moore (Doom: Annihilation), Caroline Ward (Stalling It) and Emma Louise Webb (The Crown). All the actors operated their own cameras, pulled off their own practical effects and lit their own scenes while Savage directed them remotely.
Craig Engler, Shudder’s general manager, saw a viral short Savage shot during lockdown. He reached out to the filmmaker to see if he had a full-length feature and what they delivered “exceeded their expectations.”
“I’m a certified Shudder obsessive,” said Savage. “When lockdown began, I spent weeks bingeing everything on Shudder, so to find myself premiering a new film on the platform only a few months later is incredible. Shudder understood the potential of this mad little film from day one and totally supported us making it in our own way. It was such a rewarding process and the final product is something we’re all so proud of. I hope this is the first of many collaborations.”
Savage and Shepherd serve as executive producers of Host. The film is produced by Douglas Cox of Shadowhouse Films, in association with Boo-Urns.
Savage is repped by WME, Exile, Independent Talent Group & Jackoway Austen.