The holiday rental trade is simply bizarre. We go into houses owned by different individuals with safety cameras by way of which they will watch us and act prefer it’s no massive deal. This inherently discomfiting state of affairs was unpacked effectively in Dave Franco’s formidable “The Rental” final yr and it returns as the middle of Brandon Christensen’s efficient “Superhost,” a narrative of two vloggers who stumble into the fallacious rental. It’s slight even in its quick run time, but it surely’s anchored by an impressively unhinged efficiency from Gracie Gillam, who takes her unstable character and runs headfirst into that model of campy horror that’s each entertaining and terrifying on the identical time. I want it was just a little extra formidable and had some extra meat on its bones relating to web tradition and shared areas, but it surely’s undeniably entertaining, which is greater than I can say about a few of the instances I’ve rented houses myself.
One of many extra attention-grabbing features of “Superhost” is that it’s actually about two individuals determined to be appreciated. The primary is Claire (Sara Canning), the co-host of a journey vlog together with her boyfriend Teddy (Osric Chau) through which the pair travels to highly-rated trip houses and evaluations them on their video channel. Teddy is the optimist, even planning to suggest to Claire on their subsequent journey, however, she’s extra of a realist, noticing that their subscriber’s numbers are dwindling, and desperate to do what it takes to reverse that pattern. Will their new journey be the one that will get their eyes again on their vlog?
Rebecca certain hopes so too! Performed by Gillam, the host of the rental dwelling has a behavior of sneaking up on Claire and Teddy whereas additionally seeming in a continuing state of panic relating to their satisfaction. She lurks across the property, ensuring the whole lot is assembly their wants, and offers a deeply unsettling interview about her historical past with the house. One thing is clearly fallacious with Rebecca, however, Gillam and Christensen neatly body it as greater than pure hazard, imbuing the character with that creepy, eager-to-please nature that may be so unsettling. We could not have met somebody as unhinged as Rebecca, however, we’ve all met individuals who appear just a little too reliant on our satisfaction. The perfect moments of “Superhost” are middle on the concept that a foul evaluation by a vlogger may ship somebody off the deep finish.
After all, the reality is that Rebecca has been unstable for a very long time now and “Superhost” will get inevitably grotesque with revelations concerning the host from Hell. The final act is impressively darkish as Claire, Teddy, and even a former host who believes she has been wronged by them (performed by the legendary Barbara Crampton) discover out that they’ve underestimated Rebecca. Having mentioned that, there’s a way that it is a strong episode of an anthology sequence like “Creepshow” (additionally on Shudder) that has been stretched to barely meet a theatrical operating time. It’s in all probability a product of the pandemic, however, a number of current horror movies have discovered methods to do extra even with small casts and restricted settings. Like most trip-dwelling leases, it will get the job accomplished, however, you’ll have to bother remembering an excessive amount about it by the point you’re taking your subsequent horror journey.
On Shudder in the present day.