Superhost movie poster

Superhost

In theaters September 2, 2021

Rated

83 minutes

Directed by:

Starring: , , ,

Travel vloggers Teddy (Osric Chau) and Claire (Sara Canning) seek to boost their sagging viewership in Superhost (2021), streaming exclusively on Shudder.

Teddy and Claire work very hard to keep their travel vlog, Superhost on the minds of their subscribers by staying in and rating AirBnB-style lodgings based on accommodations, furnishings, amenities, views, etc. They’re committed to being honest, fun, and spontaneous, but their relationship has hit a dip. This adventure has Teddy in the frame of mind to take their relationship to the next level and propose. This isn’t to boot viewership, since that’s what premium vlogs are all about, but because he really loves her, even if Clair isn’t having as much fun as he is. They’re losing subscribers, bleeding money, and they lean on her parent’s cash. Upon arrival, they meet BettyLou52, also know as Rebecca (Gracie Gillam) their gothy free-spirit host who is determined to make their stay the absolute best! ever! because she’s super determined to be a Superhost! Her devotion to their comfort becomes more intimate than they would prefer as cameras everywhere record their every move and she is constantly underfoot. Her constant meddling threatens their carefully crafted vlog personas as well as their lives as she is super determined to not let them leave . . . unhappy.

Further complicating matters, because a romantic getaway that could mean life or death for the channel isn’t pressure enough, Vera (Barbara Crampton), their previous vacation-rental host has followed them to their next location, demanding satisfaction for what she sees as a disastrous review that ruined her business. Vera is the kind of Big Mad that isn’t sure what kind of satisfaction she wants, only that she’s angry enough to drive a few hundred miles to get it.

Rebecca desperately wants to be a Superhost, but will her people-pleasing methods go too far?

Of course, that’s what makes Superhost a super-fun horror film. Superhost cuts what could be considered found-footage and traditional storytelling into a linear and dynamic film.  Teddy and Claire are a modern couple trying to balance burgeoning if out-of-reach fame with a relationship status running on fumes. They want to make it on their own and with each other but the cost of travel and cameras balanced against declining revenue puts a strain on the whole endeavor. Rebecca’s knack for showing up just as things teeter off-kilter feels smothering but the constant cameras all over the rental home edges towards threatening. The descent from uncomfortable to psychotic is like the breaks falling off a roller-coaster and it happens fast, and in this 84-minutes movie, it’s the pacing that counts. This isn’t a movie where smart people get stupid – smart people are smart, they’re just not fast enough to get out of the way.

Superhost has a delightfully intimate cast, with only Canning, Chau, Gillam, and Crampton, and Grace Gilliam completely makes this movie. Her manic enthusiasm is at first infectious, then concerning, then terrifying as she wants to make everyone’s stay vlog-worthy. There’s a scene where she becomes emotional recounting her happy stays in previous vacation rentals, and through her tears proudly announces she’s a Superhost! It’s simultaneously touching and terrifying. I have no reservations telling you I recommend this movie.

Superhost (2021) is unrated and my humble opinion would give it a Rating of R to people getting stalked, slashed, stabbed, and axed, and that general feeling you get when staying in vacation rentals where you feel you’re constantly being watched.

Movie Reelist Contributor: MontiLee Stormer
MontiLee Stormer is a writer of horror, dark and urban fantasy. She’s also is a troublemaker, concocting acts of mayhem and despair for her own selfish pleasure. An avid movie watcher, she prefers horror but will see just about anything if you're buying. Poltergeist (1982) is her favorite movie and she actively hates The Shining (1980) due to its racism, misogyny, the butchering of the source material. She could host a TEDtalk on this single subject. Writing about herself in the third person is just a bonus.

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