With the rise of sharing-economy trip alternate options like Airbnb, it’s no shock that horror filmmakers are selecting up on the anxieties that include trusting strangers on-line — as both a renter or a bunch. Final yr’s The Rental was a stable entry from Dave Franco. Now, horror streamer Shudder is diving in with Superhost, from author/director Brandon Christensen.
Superhost premieres on Shudder on September 2. Take a look at our evaluate under.
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Checking in to Superhost
YouTubers Teddy and Claire run the Superhost channel, the place they profile totally different trip rental hosts. Briefly, they go to properties and charge their stays.
They’re dropping followers quick, although, and their newest weekend journey is an opportunity to refresh their model a bit. However their host, Rebecca, isn’t fairly what they anticipated. At first, she’s somewhat eccentric. However as crimson flags maintain piling up, the 2 friends begin to suspect one thing extra sinister may be up. Little annoyances and oversteps give option to greater breaches of privateness till all the things involves a bloody head.
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Anybody who’s stayed at an Airbnb will possible acknowledge the tough dance that occurs once you check-in. Some hosts by no means meet you in particular person in any respect. However some greet you upon arrival. Everybody has totally different expectations, and settling into the appropriate dynamic may be awkward.
For those who’ve stayed at an Airbnb, you may possible acknowledge a number of the extra awkward social interactions that include the territory.
Superhost cranks that awkwardness to 11. after which it retains going. Gracie Gillam is clearly having enjoyable taking part in the wilder sides of Rebecca, however she additionally hits some quieter notes. You may’t fairly inform if she’s kindhearted however simply socially odd or if she would possibly actually kill you in your sleep.
Who do you belief?
It’s not all about Rebecca, although.
Just like the superhosts they profile, Teddy and Claire’s channel lives or dies by constructive engagement. Rebecca’s near-obsessive repeated line, “wouldn’t need to get a nasty evaluate,” serves basically the identical operate as Teddy’s fixed onscreen reminders to “smash that like button.” Everybody’s high-strung as a result of the necessity to please — whether or not a brand new renter or a military of subscribers — supersedes all.
That is the place Superhost actually shines. Simply once you suppose you’ve found out what’s happening (Rebecca’s unhinged and harmful, proper?), you understand that there could also be a string of not-so-super-hosts who’ve had their livelihoods threatened by Teddy and Claire within the identify of clicks.
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Welcoming some YouTuber couple into your property is, in spite of everything, simply as dangerous as being hosted by a faceless stranger on-line, so what’s actually up? Are Teddy and Claire what they declare to be?
Superhost retains its playing cards near its chest. We’re by no means ready to completely perceive what’s what, and that makes for a tense and shocking journey all through.
Loads of scares to take in your subsequent getaway
Superhost can also be simply plain scary, with a couple of genuinely chill-inducing moments. And it blends in some comedic parts too, with a couple of winks to the viewers concerning YouTuber tradition and the weirdness of the sharing economic system.
The general pacing feels a bit off in sure key moments, particularly within the lead-up to the third act. The movie advantages from sustaining a way of thriller to construct suspense, however it additionally reveals an excessive amount of too quick at instances. All of it feels a bit gentle on payoff because of this.
Superhost touches on some deep themes in regards to the sharing economic system and what it means to dwell on-line.
However having mentioned that, Superhost grapples with some fascinating themes and doesn’t spoon-feed you any clear takeaways. What does it imply that we dwell our lives publicly on-line? Why can we belief strangers to host us of their properties? Why ought to they belief us? Can our interactions ever be real after we know they’ll be diminished to a like or a evaluate?
Superhost is rather more taken with selecting at these social sores than making a transparent assertion. And the movie advantages from that. You don’t know what to anticipate once you guide a keep on-line. It may be wonderful, or it may be a nightmare. That’s fertile floor to discover by way of horror.
It would linger with you the following time you scroll by way of trip listings although.
Superhost drops September 2. Test it out on Shudder.