SUPERHOST (2021) Reviews and overview of vacation rental horror

 

‘Don’t forget to like and survive.’

Superhost is a horror film about two travel vloggers that check into a vacation rental with a host that will do anything for a good review.

Written, directed and edited by Brandon Christensen (Z; Still/Born). The movie was produced by Kurtis David Harder (director of Spiral; co-producer of Harpoon).

The movie stars Sara Canning (Z, Van Helsing series), Osric Chau (Supernatural series; Man With the Iron Fist), Gracie Gillam (Fright Night 2011) and horror icon Barbara Crampton (Stay Out Stay Alive; We Are Still Here; You’re Next; From Beyond; Re-Animator).

The soundtrack score was composed by the group Blitz//Berlin (Witch Hunt; Psycho Goreman; Still/Born; It Stains the Sands Red; The Void).

Reviews:

“Casting is surprisingly strong for this type of endeavor, and while Christensen doesn’t have broad ambitions for Superhost, he makes an effective film on a smaller scale, with the dramatic and satiric elements of the writing more enticing than eventual bloodshed.” Blu-ray.com

“There isn’t a twist so much as a curveball during the climax, and that’s good enough for two unexpected shocks involving a knife that’ll cause faint hearts to squirm. There may not be all that much to it, but the simple approach works well enough for the movie this is: a snack-size serving of stalker horror that slots smoothly into Shudder’s grab-and-go menu of casual chills.” Culture Crypt

“As the film’s central menace becomes clear—even though it isn’t a particularly inspired or surprising choice—Superhost manages to deliver some stellar practical gore, genuine thrills, and even a Barbara Crampton cameo for good measure. One wishes Superhost had the foresight to deliver more in line with the finale, but it’s enough to elevate the film from bad to watchable.” Dread Central

“Christensen plays into the audience’s psyche of being weary of Airbnbs while cranking that fear up a notch. Take a creative and talented writer/director add in the perfect location for a horror/thriller and mix them together with a terrific group of actors and you have the perfect formula for a well-told, scary cautionary tale.” Flick Direct

“Realistically, it’s the performances and the tone of the film that holds the thing together. The kills are brutal and worth commenting on, too […] All that aside, the end result feels lazy, lacking in the character development perspectives of Teddy and Claire. While the side characters steal the show and the atmosphere is built phenomenally well, it just doesn’t satisfy.” Horror Obsessive

“It’s a strength of Superhost that the cast members are all excellent. With only four people in the whole running time, a weak link would stand out a lot and there isn’t one here […] In a hopefully star-making turn from Gracie Gillam, Rebecca is a ball of weirdo energy that is impossible to take your eyes off.” MovieBabble

“The performances of the quartet keep us engaged, with Gillam going all out in crazy bitch mode and Chau likeable as the “final boy.” But fans of Christensen’s previous tight thrillers will be disappointed at how unfocussed the storytelling is here by comparison, and by the climax, it all feels like a generic slasher that missed an opportunity for some satirical commentary on the lengths people are forced to go to make a buck in the gig economy.” The Movie Waffler

Superhost is not exactly reinventing the wheel, but there’s a nice twist toward the backend, and the always terrific Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator) adding a bit of gravitas. Plus, there’s a couple of well-done practical effects.” Really Awful Movies

“There is not much new to be found in the critiques of online behaviour and obsession here. We know that vapid influencer culture exists and can have a detrimental effect on the vloggers as well as their subjects […] Competent and driven by fun performances, Superhost may not be your most memorable stay, but does enough to provide some escapism.” Scared Sheepless

“The compact and comprehensible story is scripted very well. The chemistry between Teddy and Claire feels like a real couple. The proposal scene was full of wonderful little acting moments of awkwardness and dramatic beats that added some great texture to the characters […] Don’t be surprised if this ends up on my best of 2021 list at the end of the year!” The Scariest Things

“There are some genuinely interesting aspects to the characters which could have easily been transplanted into a different narrative, or even a different genre, and the result would perhaps have been more engaging. With some better casting and a little more ambition with the filmmaking, this could have been a Cabin in the Woods ordeal, instead, it’s barely an ordeal.” UK Film Review

Superhost saves its violence for the last half hour, relying on psychological horror to keep us on edge. But when Christensen lets loose in the final act he more than makes up for it with a tense game of cat and mouse punctuated by some nasty practical carnage. Granted the film ends on a note I’ve seen a few too many times but it’s a minor complaint.” Voices from the Balcony

“There are few surprises in Superhost, and it certainly won’t be the most overtly violent movie streaming on Shudder this year […] Instead, Christensen’s beautifully calibrated script and the very capable cast ensure a potent mix of doomed inevitability and agonisingly dark humour. At a lean 85 minutes this stylish, witty, and mordant little horror never comes close to outstaying its welcome.” The Wee Review

Release:

Octane Entertainment (St. Agatha) negotiated the sale of Superhost to streaming service Shudder where it will be available on September 2, 2021.

Meanwhile, the film will have its world premiere on Saturday, August 14, 2021, at Popcorn Frights in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Cast and characters:

Barbara Crampton … Vera
Gracie Gillam … Rebecca
Sara Canning … Claire
Osric Chau … Teddy

Trailer:

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