Brandon Christensen continues the trend of effective social media-based horror with his highly entertaining and super-zany ‘Super Host’!

Two YouTubers choose the wrong rental to review in their latest VLOG, the titular ‘Superhost’, which sees couple visit the house of the somewhat eccentric Rebecca, with the intent of reviewing both the quality of the house, as well as a quick catchup with the host. It’s not long before tensions begin to rise. Rebecca is perhaps just the wrong side of quirky, there are technical problems in the house, viewership is down and to make matters worse, a visit from a previously jilted ‘super host’ shows up, threatening violence and further jeopardising the production.

The films plot develops with a foot in both home-invasion and slasher camps, with the claustrophobic location and small cast working well together to build up tension in an organically subtle way, whilst Rebecca’s overtly deteriorating mental state sets her up from being a camp, somewhat slapstick resident nutter, to a full-blown psychopathic antagonist once the films played its full hand.

Here praise must be given to the small cast, and by small, I mean literally 4; the acting is really strong. Deliberately, the protagonist couple is somewhat jarring, with the YouTuber couple representing a parodied worse version of the social media obsessives and as such, their lack of integrity between their ‘online’ and ‘offline’ personas made them difficult to route for. In contrast, a clear outcast, the somewhat half-witted landlord seems almost to be being exploited by the attention seeking couple, especially when an old ‘star’ of their show, played by the much-loved Barbra Crampton shows up throwing all sorts of accusations at them.

Then things begin to shift with the film beginning to show a far darker tone.

The house is very typical, but the constant voyeurism – be it from the camera’s fitted in the house, or the constant VLOGing – gives the atmosphere in the film an off-kilter edge. Between the fake video personas, to the social awkwardness of Superhost landlord Rebecca, there is a very palpable tension which creeps in overtime.

Although the story is pretty linear and much of the content having a very familiar feeling, it is always difficult to see where the film is going even up to the films concluding act, and again, a credit to the writing for maintaining a whole load of intrigue, with a whole lot of not a lot!

The finale of this film is the type of off-the-wall madness which separates these styles of film from one another, some hit, some really don’t end up going anywhere; ‘Superhost’ is most definitely a hit.

In its earlier scenes the films 18 certificate might seem out of place, however, there’s definitely some scenes in the later part of the film which at least strive to justify the films “strong, bloody, Violence” label. I don’t want to ruin anything for you, but considering the films simple and straightforward setup, there are some really nice little plot twists and turns towards the end of the movie which gave a nice full throttle ending to an already engaging film.

Overall, whilst ‘Superhost’ is far from a cynical critique of social media obsessives, there’s just enough depth to give the films concept a good foundation to build a solid home invasion style movie on top of. The performances really carry the film through its initial exposition and then some clever writing, good looking effects, and Crampton’s ‘star power’ manage to seal the deal. All in ‘Superhost’ maybe empty calorie entertainment, but sometimes that’s exactly what the evening needs!

‘Superhost’ is available on both Blu-Ray and for Streaming on ‘Shudder’.