Morbidly Beautiful

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With great performances and a villain that you love to hate, “Superhost” is a wildly entertaining ride that gives horror fans what they want.

Teddy and Claire are travel vloggers who run a channel called “SUPERHOST” where they travel and share their experiences in and around vacation homes. Until recently, they had become very successful doing it. With a dwindling subscriber count, they find the perfect opportunity to create content that people want to see when they meet Rebecca, the host of their most recent trip. Slowly they start to realize that something isn’t right with Rebecca, and as they investigate it further, they unlock a horrifying truth. She doesn’t just want a great review; she wants something far worse.

Writer/Director Brandon Christensen has done it again with Superhost. Though it doesn’t deliver big surprises, this humorous and sometimes brutal film will make you think twice about going to that next vacation rental. With outstanding acting from all and a cameo from horror icon Barbara Crampton, this film is well-made, entertaining, and will even make you laugh out loud.

As the owner of an Airbnb and a Superhost (thank you, thank you very much) myself, I was abnormally excited when I saw this as a premise for a film.

Not that this is the first horror movie about a vacation rental I’ve ever seen, but it touches on the very thing I worry about when I let strangers stay in my home; Security. Are the people I am allowing into my personal space going to be wonderful, or could they destroy my life? Thankfully, I can honestly say that so far, being a host has been a great experience, but what about the crazies? They are out there, and I hope they never come to take a holiday at my house.

Though not an incredibly original story, the well-written characters in this film make it work.

There are literally only four people in the film. Each actor did their absolute best and that makes all the difference. With very few locations and such a tiny cast, it could have been a snooze fest, but I loved every minute.

Our travel vloggers, Teddy and Claire are played perfectly by Osric Chau (The Flash, Supernatural) and Sara Canning (War of the Planet of the Apes). The young couple seems happy on air, but you know right away that things aren’t perfect between them. They are both confident that this trip will be the one that turns their subscriber count back up. They had an issue with a previous rental that went badly, and that host (the legendary Barbara Crampton) has been harassing them.

When they get to the beautiful mountain cabin, they are very excited about the location, though things get weird pretty fast.

Their host Rebecca is manic and odd right from the start, and it’s not a surprise when things go south.

Actress Gracie Gillam brings the insane Rebecca to life, and I fell in love with her.

Her character is a psychotic lunatic, and I couldn’t wait to see what she would do next. Her habit of popping up at odd times was positively unnerving. Gracie Gillam’s performance was deranged, to say the least, and I hope to see her in more horror films soon.

When the whole trip spirals out of our vlogger’s control, it goes in a semi-predictable, but still satisfying way. Some gnarly, if not perfect gore worked well for this horror fan; I do like my films bloody.

Writer/director Brandon Christensen, who made one of my favorite horror films from 2019, Z, brought out the best in this ensemble and I think that is why I like it so much. If it had just been a found footage film or not as well acted, I don’t think it would have been so entertaining.

I highly recommend SUPERHOST. This is a fun and entertaining horror film that isn’t super complicated, made me laugh, has some great gore, amazing acting, and really hits the horror spot! Be careful where you go on your next vacation!

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 4.5
SUPERHOST, a Shudder exclusive, is available on VOD, Digital HD, and Blu-ray on February 1st, 2022, from RLJE Films. Bonus features on the DVD and Blu-ray include Director Commentary, Behind-the-Scenes of Superhost, Shooting in a Pandemic, Bloopers, Superhost Visual FX, Behind-the-Scenes Photo Gallery, and “Scaredycats” Episodes 1 & 2.

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