MYSTERY WIRE (AP) — A few months ago during the quarantine lockdown in London, director Rob Savage had some time on his hands. He decided to create a prank where he pretended to hear footsteps in his attic and asked his friends to join him on Zoom for moral support as he went to investigate. He posted the video on social media and it got a lot of views and made him think he should try filming a horror movie in quarantine over Zoom.
“It’s nice to feel creative during lockdown,” said Savage, “so we thought ‘maybe there’s something here and we can expand on this principle and nobody had,’ you know, everyone kind of assumed that somebody would make a Zoom movie because we’re all using it, but nobody had. So we thought, ‘we will step up and do it.'”
He invited those same friends from the prank video to act in a movie he co-wrote and directed called “Host.”
“The first thing we did was buy them all a bunch of very thin fishing wire so they could start moving stuff around the house like ‘Poltergeist.’ We’re throwing stuff around by the end of the shoot, they were kind of pitching me scares and they were saying, ‘Hey, look at this. I can make my chest of drawers fold down’ and this kind of thing. So everyone was just throwing in and got really excited by it.”
Production and post-production took 12 weeks and the film was delivered to the horror film streaming platform Shudder.
In the film, a group of friends gather on Zoom during the quarantine to take part in a seance.
Savage said to teach the cast “little techniques that go into scaring people,” they held screenings of acclaimed horror films like “Paranormal Activity” and “kind of picked them apart as to why they were scary… so the actors kind of had this weird frame of reference when we were discussing how they’d shoot it.”