Movies – Host’s Formula Can’t Be Copied By Other Coronavirus Horror Movies In 2021
Rob Savage’s Host has a formula that cannot be copied by other COVID-19 inspired horror movies in 2021; here’s why it can’t to be replaced by others.
Rob Savage’s Host came out at the most opportune time for COVID-19 pandemic inspired horror movies. While there are likely many more to come in the aftermath of the first wave, it is virtually impossible for its formula to be copied or manufactured a second time. The Zoom based horror movie may only be 56 minutes long, but its impeccable timing and innovative take on the found footage sub-genre has made it an immensely important movie that cannot be replicated.
Written by Savage, Gemma Hurley, and Jed Shepherd, Host follows a group of friends who have set up a Zoom video call to enjoy a night of fun and the supernatural. After participating in a séance lead by a seasoned psychic, each of the women start to experience bizarre events taking place in their homes. As the clock ticks on their Zoom call and social isolation confines them to their homes, they’re all forced to watch in horror as their friends die one by one without the ability to safe them due to the fear of catching COVID-19. The movie released on Shudder in July, only three months after the official lockdown order was set in place. It was one of the first to capture the horrors that 2020 was presenting in real-life while including fictionalized paranormal events.
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Host has been considered the best horror movie of 2020 due to its ability to capture the real fears, concerns, loneliness, isolation, and means of communication that have become prevalent in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was largely successful because of its timing, as the first wave left so much uncertainty for the future. Since Hosts’ release, several movies have attempted to capitalize off of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the virus itself, but have been largely unsuccessful.
Host didn’t create the webcam found footage movie, but it did present it in an all new form with the addition of COVID-19. Approximately five months after its release, Social Distance premiered with a plot that attempted to draw inspiration from Savage’s movie. Ultimately, it failed because it implemented government conspiracies alongside the pandemic, making it too disconnected from reality, which was part of the appeal of Host. If another found footage horror movie takes on its structure, it would need to utilize a different kind of technology to communicate, such as Facetime. In doing so, it would add a level of personal depth to the relationships the characters share, which is very apparent between Emma, Caroline, Haley, Jemma, Radina, and Teddy.
It seems likely that there will be countless horror movies about the COVID-19 pandemic in the near future. The most important part about how Host used it was that it didn’t make it the forefront of the movie. Instead, it was merely a backdrop that added a level of forced isolation that all of the characters – and viewers at home – felt in the midst of the paranormal activity. Friends can Zoom anytime, even before the pandemic. Savage’s choice to use Zoom didn’t have to come from COVID-19, but it did benefit from it because viewers could relate to using it as a tool to communicate with friends, family, and colleagues.
Ultimately, Host succeeded due to its familiarity to audiences. While other movies like Social Distance have attempted to use the same formula, it hasn’t worked because of its over-emphasis on the virus as well as its unbelievable character relationships. It seems as though Host’s use of Zoom was a one time success story. This, alongside the fact that it has been named the best horror movie of 2020, makes it a near impossibility to try to replicate or copy in any form. Some creators may attempt to capture a similar air to Host, but it will take a lot to reinvent a sub-genre that Rob Savage has already reinvented in the past year.
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