10 HOST Easter Eggs You Might Have Missed
The filmed-in-lockdown screen horror Host has taken the horror world by storm, nabbing the top spot (as of this writing) on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of Best Horror Movies of 2020. As fans go back to watch for a second or third time, they’re starting to notice some of the many Easter eggs the filmmakers have scattered throughout the movie. We asked co-screenwriter/executive producer Jed Shepherd to share a few of his favorites to get you started.
If you haven’t seen Host yet, be warned — spoilers ahead.
I’d be lying if I proclaimed that I knew that HOST would blow up in the way it did. We thought we were making something completely niche and British. Something that we made in lockdown conditions with our friends over the course of 12 weeks. Something that we’d be able to point to when friends asked “So what did YOU do in Lockdown?”. The alternative to banana bread and sourdough. Something we only imagined to be a snapshot of the lives of our small group of friends became a Polaroid photo album for the entire world.
We were ill prepared for the way it swept through the public consciousness like the demonic Jack through Zoom so I speak on behalf of all cast and crew when I extend my outstretched elbow in gratitude to everyone, everywhere.
The sheer amount of people who have told us that they have rewatched HOST multiple times to catch the Easter eggs and subtext has been phenomenal. HOST fans compete on twitter to see who has watched the movie the most times but what they don’t know is that Emma has genuinely watched it 3 times a day since launch. Beat that! One of the main reasons people give for rewatching HOST is to catch the little things we hid in the background or to nail which movies references we snuck in.
So, here are my favourite Easter Eggs!
1: Right at the very start, we catch a glimpse of Haley’s login screen for zoom. You will see that the participant ID for her Zoom is 31101992. This is the air date for GHOSTWATCH on the BBC. Halloween 1992. Ghostwatch is a massive influence to myself and Rob so we had to pay homage. The writer of GHOSTWATCH, Stephen Volk has since come out to say he believes that HOST is “the next Ghostwatch’ which has obviously sent Rob and I into a fugue state of happiness.
2: The day of the seance is shown as July 30th 2020. The day HOST dropped on Shudder!
3: On that same screen we see her password is “DMK” which is a reference to my favourite movie of all time NIGHT OF THE COMET. The three initials play a massive part in NOTC and because I don’t want to spoil it, I suggest you track it down and thank me later.
4: When we are first introduced to Jemma, she is standing outside next to a painted sign on the road in the shape of two eyes that read “2020”. This is not only a reference to this weird year the film comes out in, but the fact that Jemma is wearing glasses and perhaps she has “20-20” vision. It alludes to her transgression during the seance.
5: Sam Raimi is our favourite director, so when you see Jemma and Haley playing “eye tennis” with each other, it’s a nod to Evil Dead. Specifically the scenes between Ash and his girlfriend before and after she turns.
6: Caroline is introduced with “shit all over” her face. This is foreshadowing later events when her face meets its untimely end when she kisses her keyboard too hard.
7: Caroline’s looping background video is a reference to the underrated found footage movie Lake Mungo. That movie is all about how images of someone you care about help that person live on after death in your mind, both figuratively and literally.
8: When Radina is looking for Alan and we see her wandering around her apartment; if you look closely behind her (as she goes toward the toilet for a panic wee) you can see exactly what happens to him. He is lifted and killed by the entity known as “Jack”. It’s a blink and you’ll miss it moment but one of the most costly shots in the whole film.
9: Emma throwing the sheet over nothing and a figure appearing underneath is straight out of our favourite scene from Joko Anwar’s incredible SATAN’S SLAVES. We wanted to do our own twist on that set piece and Emma will attest it took many many takes to make it look right.
10: The whole end sequence is a reference to the 1967 proto-Blumhouse movie WAIT UNTIL DARK starring Audrey Hepburn. Again, I don’t want to spoil that incredible film so watch it to see the similarities!
A comprehensive list of all the Easter eggs / references will one day be published, but for now, thats your lot. How many did you find?