It's gotten increasingly harder to find creative and unique horror films over the years that just really hits all the right things to make it a fangtastic Friday night flick. There's a lot of junk out there to dig through, but every once in a while a movie pops up that just does it. I recently got a chance to check out Brandon Christensen's newest film SUPERHOST which is available now for streaming through Shudder and goddamn did this movie just do it for me. Creative, different, shocking, unsettling, and weird - weird is a big one for me - Superhost just checks all of the boxes that make it one hell of an entertaining hour and a half. If you are a fan of Patrick Brice's CREEP - one of my favorite modern day horrors ever - then SUPERHOST absolutely demands your attention. You typically can't go wrong with horror movies with psychopaths in them, and the lovely nutcase in this movie is just so fucking good, like Patrick Bateman good. If that kind of movie is up your alley, then hand over your time to SUPERHOST for a pretty unforgettable vacation you'll lose your head over!
Superhost may be the name of the movie, but it's also the basis for the films main characters' YouTube channel about the best of the best vacation home rentals. Their channel has them traveling around, renting peoples homes Airbnb style, and sharing their thoughts on the property, location, and the owners, or the Superhost. Teddy (played by Osric Chau) and Claire (Sara Canning) have been losing subscribers at an alarming rate, so they are desperate for that "one video" that will just put them over the top and regain the following they once had on social media. So they book an absolutely breathtaking weekend in the middle of nowhere at a property that is sure to get them the views they crave. Everything about the property rental is picture perfect, except for the owner who comes off just a little... we'll call her quirky. Rebecca (played by Gracie Gillam) is the superhost to be featured in the couple's video on the vacation rental, but from the get-go, the couple could tell something about her is just a little off. Her quirkiness is hard to put to words, but let's just say it's enough for Claire to believe that exploiting her weirdness for views is the best option for the YouTube channel. That is until the quirkiness turns to insanity as the psychopath that lays quietly in Rebecca's head is brought to the surface and the young couple find themselves in a vacationer's worst nightmare! Is Rebecca hiding something from Teddy and Claire? Or is she just the wrong person to exploit for internet clout? Find out in... SUPERHOST!
Every excellent psychopath movie needs an excellent psychopath, and Superhost found its perfect candidate with Rebecca. She's just weird enough to be brushed off as the "cute but crazy" girl, but when her true colors show, like I said she's got some sinister Patrick Bateman-style screws loose that I was just melting over. The last half hour or so of the film just hits whole new levels of crazy that I'm not sure audiences would really expect, and it makes sitting through Teddy and Claire's increasingly annoying nonsense worth it. Don't misconstrue what I mean, though - for a film that only has four actors in it, they do an absolutely killer job considering all eyes are on them pretty much the entire time; being in almost every scene of the movie has got to be a challenge but Chau and Canning absolutely knock it out of the park. It's just Teddy and Claire just seem so over-the-top and, quite honestly, fake for the camera that their personalities are just kinda cringy, but I guess that was intentional. Not trying to take away from the kickass job they did, but Gillam fucking slayed her role as the films weirdo and, quite honestly, stole the show. Audiences will find themselves anxiously awaiting her next appearance on screen in anticipation of what sort of bizarre antic is going to happen next. Gillam absolutely captured whatever it was that was needed for the Rebecca character to be cute yet haunting, psycho but subtle and she made the character memorable long after the credits roll. If you're a fan of movies with twists and turns and subtle hints at things to come, Superhost also does a pretty damn good job at that too. Once the climax of the film hits, things never really let up until the end, and it's a whirlwind of chaos for everybody involved! The only other actress in the film besides the trio involved in the rental is the incredible Barbara Crampton - and even her role in the film has a little twist I'm sure audiences won't see coming.
If Superhost doesn't make you hesitant to rent someone's home for your next vacation, then the film didn't do it's job but I'm fairly certain you'll at least think twice before loading up the Airbnb app on your phone. Oh, and maybe take a lesson out of Claire and Teddy's book and don't try and exploit people for your content and maybe you won't end up in the same situation they did. Although, to be fair, they were doomed from the start, but still! Superhost is a seriously fun, energetic and engaging flick that I'll absolutely be revisiting again before the end of the year, it was that much fun. Check this one out!!!