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Deadstream: Review (SXSW)

A disgraced internet personality attempts to win back his followers by livestreaming one night alone in a haunted house. But when he accidentally pisses off a vengeful spirit, his big comeback event becomes a real-time fight for his life. (IMDB)

Directed By: Joseph Winter and Vanessa Winter

Deadstream totally rules! This was a Midnighter at SXSW that I was lucky enough to catch. By far this is the movie I had the most surprise with. I didn't know what the movie was about and went in with no expectations. This was perfect for me because it was such a treat to watch all of the events unfold. When it comes to horror movies, I love and adore them very much. The genre I like the most is horror comedies. Deadstream is the best in class of what you want from a horror movie that has comedic charm. The main character is both very unlikable and likable for many reasons. This is his comeback to his YouTube channel and as a viewer, you just want him to succeed so bad. Is the guy perfect, no, but does he deserve all the things happening to him in this movie, also no. He goes through his punishment and it's very entertaining to see, but towards the end you begin to really latch onto this person and want them to survive. This movie sold me in the fact that it is ghost versus influencer on a live stream.

The movie is very self aware of itself and embraces the stereotypical YouTube influencer aspect to its full potential. We are all aware of Youtubers for the most part and the many controversies a lot them have found themselves in. There is a cathartic feeling we should get when we see justice being served to one of them. His character goes through a lot of growth in a very short period of time. There is nothing better then seeing someone change for the better and having that character arc. Getting this done with such a short runtime was really impressive. There is so much that happens and it never felt like the movie was rushing through it. For what seems like a one continuous shot, they were able to edit this movie perfectly with some of the fan interactions and switching to different camera angles as part of his show. This was a brilliant way to get the movie done and made it look realistic and genuine. It felt like a real livestream.

Joseph and Vanessa Winter, who are the writers and directors of the movie, are geniuses. They were able to create some of the best use of camera techniques, transitions and even score for the movie. What plays out like a found footage movie, the editing and music in it makes perfect sense because of the livestream aspect. Him going live online for his followers to see him in a haunted house is a brilliant concept. The fan interaction with him made the movie feel very engaging. The chat that he had had the same thoughts I had when I was watching the events happened. The movie made me feel like I joined in on the livestream which is a great way to have me get involved. The ghost designs are impeccable as well and work super effective. There were some great intense scenes. The movie really does deliver on the horror aspects as well. I was so happy to hear that Shudder was able to pick this one up already and I can't wait to see it again. This is also the only movie I saw twice while at the festival. Totally worth your time checking this one out!

Rating: 92/100


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