Shawn Ruddy (Joseph Winter) is a famous online influencer when it comes to social media. Known for conducting various stunts and funny videos, his popularity earns him incredible sponsorships. However, when one video went too far, Shawn was instantly penalised, and his online accounts were disabled. After due time, Shawn is back online and bigger than ever; however, as he is starting again, he’ll need to do something insane to re-obtain stardom.
So, what’s something wilder and crazier Shawn can do to win his fans and followers back? A haunted house! Shawn prepares himself for the ultimate challenge, where he will live stream an overnight stay in a haunted house full of unsettling past secrets. Upon arrival, he disables his car and locks himself inside the house to prevent any escape. Equipping himself and the haunted home with cameras, he makes one choice which comes with a big surprise and unlocks something significant. Now Shawn needs to find a way to defeat the ultimate evil while also trying to find a way to escape.
Deadstream is a horror film with plenty of comedic and random moments. The horror aspect is highly pleasing, and those who enjoy a strong level of gore, violence and slapstick gags will also have a great time with this feature. The comedy here worked well for me. The gags generally come from various one-liners spoken at a fast pace, and some jokes are so silly I couldn’t help but giggle and laugh at Shawn’s reactions or his interactions with his followers online.
The level of on-screen technology also feels convincing. Shawn’s live stream event comes with various cuts and creative visuals relating to his social media platforms. The leading character wears the latest technology and plants multiple portable cameras around the house, allowing him to watch and view various points in the house. This feels exciting and delivers a fresh creepy concept as a horror film. Watching Shawn enter one room to view another via a tablet carries unpredictable and fun outcomes.
Those who enjoy a fun retro synth-like soundtrack will also be pleased with the various tunes the lead character plays on a cassette player throughout the film. This is another gag that just worked wonderfully, and the music perfectly suited both the horror and snappy comedy. While I’m familiar with the leading actor, I admired his performance here. He felt like a real influencer and is convincing in many areas, such as being able to control his technology and just being over the top with his engagement and desire to obtain more followers.
Overall, I had a brilliant time with this film. I laughed, clapped and admired the horrifying world this film presented. Deadstream is a strong combination of Evil Dead-style horror and witty random comedy, and the balance of both is perfect. The technology used here is convincing and believable, and the film’s lead, while perhaps over the top and silly, is still extremely enjoyable to watch from start to finish. The film gets straight into its story quickly, and audiences will be engaged with all the on-screen nightmares that are impossible to look away from. Deadstream (2022) is Available Exclusively on Shudder from October 6th.