Movies are not intended to be viewed on your phone or iPad.
Christopher Nolan, David Lynch, Martin Scorsese and a slew of other film industry directors and experts have commented that they don’t want you watching their work on a small screen, but there’s a horror movie this year that goes against that.
Host, an underground horror hit from the scary streamer Shudder, is designed to be watched on any screen. I really expect the director to encourage people to watch on the largest screen possible, but I think it’s actually better to enjoy it on your smartphone or tablet.
I watched the terrifying movie this week, and it’s the first time I’ve seen a movie that I’ve enjoyed immensely without that little twinge in the back of my mind that says “this would be much better on your TV”.
Host is a unique found-footage horror film that borrows tropes from The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, then applies them to those video conversations we all did during the Covid-19 pandemic.
After regularly using video calling software for more than six months to talk to colleagues around the world and having several conversations with friends and family, Host is making more of an impact than if it were released in 2019.
It specifically uses Zoom – software that many of us have had to grapple with over the course of 2020 – and the film was created and placed specifically within the pandemic to make it feel more realistic.
Why use a tablet?
While my roommate is enjoying video games in our living room on our TV, I went to my Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus and its 12.4-inch Super AMOLED screen to check out Host. That’s a big screen for a tablet – and the resolution is fantastic at 1752 x 2800 – but it’s also considerably smaller than my TV.
My Galaxy Tab S7 Plus has been an important device in my life during the pandemic whether I watched movies or used video calling apps to connect with people in my life.
During the 57-minute running time of the movie, I kept getting absorbed by seeing these Zoom calls playing on the device I regularly use for video calls with friends and family.
This time the two things had come together and I’m not ashamed to admit that it made the on-screen horror much more immersive and effective.
I regularly found myself even looking around the screen in the software to see where my little head was, as if I were on the video call myself.
Unlike other horror movies where you have to reach for a remote to play with the volume, I found myself playing the volume rocker on the top of the tablet as well. This is something I do regularly on a video call with friends when someone is particularly louder than the others.
Most movies are often designed to be viewed on the largest screen possible, be it your living room TV or an IMAX screen in the cinema.
This one just feels unique, and you might enjoy Host even more lying in bed looking at it on a personal gadget.