Hands-on attention in an Airbnb is the focus of horror film Superhost
There have been a rash of excellent Airbnb-based horror films in recent years. Dave Franco’s directorial debut The Rental is a delightfully horrific must-watch from 2020. 2019’s The Cabin House is a frightfully grotesque twist on cabin in the woods overnights. And adding to the genre now is the much more modernly self-aware Superhost.
Written and directed by Brandon Christensen, Superhost follows travel vloggers Teddy (Osric Chau) and Claire (Sara Canning) as they share their experiences in and around vacation homes with their subscribers while maintaining a moderate level of internet fame.
When their follower count starts to dwindle, they pivot to creating viral content around their current (and highly neurotic) host, Rebecca (Gracie Gillam). As they start to realize they are losing control of their narrative, Rebecca starts to realize that she can bend their narrative to her will.
Look, already it is a perfect premise because—I think we can all agree—that internally we desire to see harm befall YouTube reviewers. Not all of them, but certainly the over-enthusiastic lunatics who have more energy than your most coked-up friend on the night of their birthday. Teddy and Claire are certainly some of the latter. And the film goes out of its way to show just how detached from reality their performance has become. In one pivotal moment, even the two of them realize they can’t experience a genuine human moment without trying to convert it into content for the sake of clicks.
The film doesn’t veer far off the “crazed host” path, but all the performances excel in delivering on exactly what you’d hope to see. As a bonus: Barbara Crampton stops by, and we all know she’s the best part of anything she’s in.
Superhost is available on September 2 on Shudder and VOD.