'The Horror Host' introduces this classic story of teenagers getting lost in the middle of nowhere, only to fall prey to bats, and become bloodsuckers. As you do.
Framed with hokey, amusing black-and-white sequences featuring Tom Noonan (the Tooth Fairy from Manhunter) as an old-fashioned TV horror host, this is a creepy vampire variant. A group of kids travel overnight to attend a friend’s wedding, but get detained in a dangerous, out-of-the-way backwater.
Menace comes mostly from a horde of vampire bats which cause road accidents, and whose bite transforms the infected into maniacal bloodsuckers. Most of the film takes place in and around an ominous, apparently abandoned farm, as quarrelling kids all do the worst possible things, splitting up at the wrong moment, getting killed but hidden so their comrades can’t justifiably leave etc. The gimmick framing actually works, while director Ti West’s low-key suspense tactics lend unease to the hackneyed storyline.
Okay video-dungeon-style horror, a bit marooned on the big-screen but nevertheless murky fun.