‘Superhost’ Blu-Ray Review – A Brutal Horror Movie Will Make You Think Twice About Your Next Vacation
In SUPERHOST, Teddy and Claire are travel vloggers who run a channel called “SUPERHOST” where they travel and share their experiences in and around vacation homes, and until recently they had been successful in doing so. With declining subscriber numbers, they find the perfect opportunity to create content people want to see when they meet Rebecca, the host of their latest trip. Slowly they begin to realize that something is wrong with Rebecca, and as they investigate further, they uncover a horrific truth. She doesn’t just want a good review, she wants something much worse.
For thoughts on Superhost, please see our discussion of The Video Attic here.
The film debuts on Blu-Ray with a 1080p presentation in its original aspect ratio which captures the film well. The film itself has a muted color palette that doesn’t consistently pop off the screen, but there’s a great amount of detail and clarity. The blood splatters that arise provide impressive moments that bring with them a beautiful liveliness. There’s a slight loss of detail in fast panning shots, but it’s not ubiquitous. For a film that relies on darkness to create tension in various places, it’s important to have deep black levels, which thankfully it does. Objects hold quite well in the shadows and retain their depth. There is no detectable damage or digital noise in this transfer. There aren’t many moments that will jump off the screen, but it’s a solid video presentation overall.
Superhost arrives on Blu-Ray with a commendable DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track. The movie doesn’t provide the most intense drive, but the environmental sounds create a very immersive atmosphere for the story. The bottom of the track is particularly active during moments of violence with a bit of wall shaking. The dialogue and sound effects are well balanced with the music where nothing gets lost in the track. Surround channels get enjoyable activity during nature scenes and with home ambience during any time leading up to an unsettling reveal. This piece is quite precise and effective, and will be appreciated by horror fans who will get this disc.
- Audio commentary: Writer/director Brandon Christensen provides a pretty solid commentary track in which he walks you through the development of the narrative, the clumsy inspiration of the story, the duality of your online and offline personality, the act of rooting for a villain, the performance, lingering questions he gets about the movie, and more that make for a great time.
- Behind the scenes of Superhost: A nearly 11-minute featurette in which the cast and crew discuss the narrative, find the right filming location, the stripped-down nature of filming, special effects and more.
- Filming during a pandemic: A seven-minute video shot for the Nightmares Film Festival in which Christensen shows what it’s like to film during a pandemic and how different it is from “normal” times.
- Blooper: A four-minute collection of failed lines, fits of laughter, missed clues, malfunctioning props and more that make for a fun time.
- Superhost Visual effects: A three minute breakdown of the subtle and less subtle visual effects that have been implemented in this feature. There are many more examples than you might imagine, which makes what they have achieved all the more impressive.
- Behind the scenes photo gallery: A minute and a half collection of photos from the production.
- Scaredycats Episodes 1 & 2 (1:21 & 2:39): Two short videos that show two young brothers having a real scare as they try to sleep at night. These are really fun additions to the release.
Superhost is a fairly engaging horror-thriller that takes aim at the strange place we find ourselves in with how easily we surrender control to virtual strangers in the name of comfort. The pacing of the feature can be a bit uneven as the peak comes a little too early, but overall the tone is effective and the performance is generally solid for what you’re trying to accomplish. RLJE Films released a Blu-Ray with a solid A/V presentation and a pretty good assortment of special features. It may not be an undisputed classic, but it’s a good time for horror fans looking for something new. advised
Superhost is currently available for purchase on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital.
Note: Images shown in this review do not reflect Blu-Ray image quality.
Disclaimer: RLJE Films has provided a free copy of this disc for review purposes. All opinions expressed in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting in a theater all day watching both big-budget movies and indies.