‘Hosts’ (2020) Is An Invasion Of A New Kind: Movie Review

What if The Strangers were people you knew? Hosts brings that premise to life in a darkly unapologetic way. Sometimes, the terror that awaits you is right next door, and sometimes it unknowingly enters your home, right under your nose. The notion that realistic fear hits viewers in a deeper way is a terrifyingly real concept, and that’s a big reason why Hosts may go down as one of the most chilling entries in 2020 horror.

Hosts is written by Adam Leader (in his feature film debut), and co-directed by Leader and Richard Oakes (Exit Plan 2016). This film takes us to a Christmas party where a family invites their neighbors over for a peaceful holiday dinner. But as it turns out, some menacing force has invaded the neighbors, changing the tone of this night forever.

This movie stars Neal Ward (Two Graves 2018), Nadia Lamin (Nefarious 2019), Frank Jakeman (Game of Thrones TV series) and Samantha Loxley (The Eastern Front 2020). Not only was the cast incredibly strong in the acting department, but you could feel palpable chemistry between the family. The dialogue was well-written so that the jokes came off as natural and the bond felt real. Anytime the family was faced with tension or tough choices, the audience had to empathize with our protagonists.

Hosts is the kind of tense film that happens when you cross The Strangers (read our review here) with sci-fi elements. It is shot in a way that allows crisp visuals to meet chillingly quiet sound design, so that every bit of the 90 minute runtime is filled with storytelling.

But the writing/directing team didn’t stop there. They pushed the boundaries for our antagonists, using gore and even a bit of allegory to create several moments that’ll force the audience to look away. The stakes feel high the entire time, and there’s never a chance for the viewer to exhale. There are some twists that tie in nicely without having to answer every question the viewer has. Hosts just released in the US and Canada, and this is a film that’ll have you thinking long after the effective credits roll.

About Jason Burke

Hey there, I'm Jason. I'm a lifelong writer and lover of all things that go bump in the night. Under my production company name, Nostalgic Nightmare Productions, I write and produce films, novels, and photoshoots. I'm also an actor, activist, poet, and stand-up comic. I believe in deep, character-driven stories that engage the audience.

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