Whether it’s Peeping Tom or Psycho, surveillance horror has tapped anxiety surrounding being watched. Superhost is part of that lineage, recently exploited by the likes of superior efforts like The Rental and 13 Cameras, but with the POV of travel vloggers rather than weekend warriors.
If you’re confused by the title, you’re not alone: it’s the YouTube handle of travel vloggers and not AirBnB homeowners, as you might surmise. However, the mandate of the Superhost hosts, Claire and Teddy, is to interview people who put their homes up for rent, and who, depending on your perspective, cause rental rates to rise or fall or units to become more or less available.
A la Dave Franco’s The Rental, they arrive at a sprawling modern mountain mansion and gush all over it, before figuring out the accommodations are somewhat wanting, complete with intrusive security cameras and nonfunctional toilets.
And they do the usual unboxing or first impressions-style travel vlog, complete with different takes and yukking it up for clicks.
Yes, Superhost uses POV/found footage-style conceit, but fear not – it’s used within the context of, well, a couple of travel bloggers. Which makes sense.
Soon, Claire and Teddy find out that their host is less than…super. In fact, she’s a bit mentally off, inserting herself into their lives, by breaking in and cooking breakfast, and unctuously reiterating her desperate need for positive, glowing online reviews.
Obviously, it’s a quid quo pro arrangement and the accommodations are comped.
Superhost is not exactly reinventing the wheel, but there’s a nice twist toward the backend, and the always terrific Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator) adding a bit of gravitas. Plus, there’s a couple of well-done practical effects.
This is Shuder-produced.
**2/4 (out of 5)