As if the current state of things wasn t terrifying enough, Shudder films and director Rob Savage recently released a new quarantine horror tale that is as innovative as it is terrifying. Filmed remotely via zoom, the film follows a group of spirit chasers who perform a seance that inadvertently unleashes an unspeakable evil upon them. Using straight-to-camera shots of the actors as they are terrorized by demonic forces, Savage stitches classic horror elements and internet creepy-pasta with practical effects to create a new flavor of suspense. One of the most uniquely ambitious horror movies to come along this year, and it serves as an excellent reminder of the power of great genre storytelling, according to Heather Wixson of Daily Dead. Rotten Tomatoes recently sat down with Savage and asked him about his quarantine inspiration and how he worked with the actors to heighten the scares.Jacqueline Coley for Rotten Tomatoes: Did the pandemic wholly inspire the piece or did you adjust a previous idea?Rob Savage: Making a truly scary haunted house movie has always been on my bucket list, but beyond that, I had no basis for Host. At the start of lockdown, everyone was sarcastically talking about the possibility of a movie shot entirely on Zoom we were all expecting it, and nobody was looking forward to it. All of my closest friends work in the film industry, and we were already hanging out over Zoom almost every day. We just felt like, Why not us? When I had the idea of making a Zoom-based feature, the first person I called was Jed Shepherd, who I’ve worked with on a number of shorts. We threw some ideas around, but didn’t land on anything concrete. When I woke up the next morning, I had a text from Jed. Two words: Zoom Seance. It really was as simple as that.What was it like setting up the effects with the actors?The very first stunt we filmed, which involves someone crashing down from the ceiling and splatting on the floor, was particularly tough. Not for me I was sitting at home in my dressing gown but for our stunt co-ordinator Nathaniel, who was performing the gag. He was suspended by a rope, having to hold a plank position for up to three minutes while a scene played out beneath him. Then, he would be released and would free-fall until, at the last moment, a mechanism would kick in to soften his landing. The very last take, the one that we used in the film, we dropped poor Nathaniel but the mechanism didn’t kick in. He slammed to the floor like a sack of potatoes, thankfully didn’t die, and absolutely made the shot.What is the biggest challenge or unforeseen benefit of directing via Zoom?Initially, I was very nervous about the process of filming remotely, but ultimately it felt very similar to working on a normal set. As a director, you have to learn to be concise and clear with your direction, and while the energy was different because we were in separate locations, it was a really exciting and creative process. The main perk was when I had the realization that, by filming remotely, anyone with an internet connection could be part of our movie. With everyone on furlough, we were able to rope in some amazing collaborators to help elevate this film beyond what could have been achieved under normal conditions.As a Shudder obsessive, talk about getting them involved?When we started pitching the film to companies, we received a huge amount of interest this was peak lockdown, and it really felt like we might be locked down for the rest of the year. We had offers from several places, but Shudder immediately felt like the right fit. Not only did I love the work they’d been doing prior to Host, but they allowed us to stream direct to our intended audience: horror fans. We’re huge horror fans, and the question we would ask ourselves throughout the process was always What’s the film I would want to watch during all this madness? What is on your Indie Fresh List, or what are you watching in general?The last film I watched was The Painted Bird, which astonished and traumatized me. I also caught up with Mark Jenkin’s Bait, which was totally singular.Besides your film, what is the perfect quarantine horror viewing?My ultimate comfort film is Evil Dead 2. If I were forced to stay inside forever and only watch one movie on repeat, it would be that!Host is available to stream now on Shudder.