Deadstream brings the found footage genre back to glory with an exquisitely funny and scary film that everyone will have a blast with. The 1080p HD image along with the DTS-HD 5.1 audio track are fantastic. The bonus features are marvelous. This Steelbook release is Highly Recommended!
Shudder is slowly becoming one of the top brands in horror these days. With titles like Speak No Evil, Skinamarink, and even the new Creepshow series - the studio and network are moving up in the world to stand with the likes of Blumhouse and more. One of their most energetic and funniest titles to date is the new found-footage film Deadstream, which at first glance could focus on a body of water or examine the popular internet streamers who dive into horror. In this case, it's the latter about a famous streamer who spends the night at a haunted house to satisfy his opinionated followers which results in some extremely funny and real-life moments along with some excellent scares. Deadstream is the definitive sleeper horror hit of the year.
The amount of found-footage movies over the last couple of decades is staggering. But filmmakers Joseph and Vanessa Winter manage to make their Deadstream fresh and original by mixing some much-needed comedic values into their horror story. Along with those elements, most of these films follow a character who isn't exactly relatable or fun to root for. That's not the case here though, where a very popular internet streamer, very similar to the likes of PewDiePie or Mr. Beast has a fall from grace online due to his abrasive and controversial behavior - much like in real life. In order to gain his sponsorships back and reignite his massive following online - the streamer named Shawn vows to spend the night in a real haunted house overnight and give his audience the best cinematic experience they've ever streamed.
What separates this found-footage horror film from the rest is its ability to take those stereotypical tropes in horror and flip them on their ear. Those scenes where audiences yell at the characters for doing stupid things like entering a locked door or going down a dark basement are all tackled here in the best way with Shawn the popular internet personality. He makes light of those elements with his ever-present followers who are constantly commenting during the film on screen. He even uses a wheel that he spins throughout the movie that is labeled Stupid Things To Do that includes holding a seance or performing an exorcism. It's a self-aware screenplay and it allows the character to enact all of these absurd situations without crossing into tired and repetitious territory. Plus it's all so realistic that everyone has seen their favorite Tik-Tok video or internet personalities do the same exact thing time and time again.
The film takes a couple of insane turns though where for a good bulk of the first half hour or so captures Shawn going through the house and making people laugh, setting up his multi-camera system, and more. Just when the film is set with showcasing only one character for the audience in Shawn, it introduces one more person to the mix - a woman named Chrissy who identifies herself as a superfan of his streams and wants to enjoy the adventure with him. But that hard left turn goes into a super violent and bloody direction with all of the excellent scares, gore, blood, and monsters that would occupy a haunted house. Shawn is definitely put through the wringer here in some terrifying ways, but just like any real-world internet celebrity, Shawn still manages to comically stay in his streamer-famous personality traits, always wanting to impress his followers where any other sane individual would escape.
Vanessa and Jospeh's commitment to the horror and comedy bits is infectious and pitch-perfect. That fine line between both genres is executed in such a great way that it's almost impossible not to root for Shawn and feel immersed in the complicated world he's allowed himself to be in. The use of the different cameras delivers new areas of suspense where Shawn (played by the director) and Chrissy turn in fantastic and nuanced performances. Deadstream is a breath of fresh air in the horror genre where viewers will want to watch the film multiple times. Not just for the entertainment value and getting a better glimpse of those practical effects where one monster looks exactly like a decaying Gollum from Lord of the Rings, but also for the constant hilarious streaming comments from his followers. There are some real gems in there. Deadstream is simply wonderful.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Deadstream uploads its way to Blu-ray via Shudder and RLJE Films in the form of a beautiful Steelbook. The sole disc is housed inside a steelbook with artwork of a monster claw holding a camera. The rear side of the case features one of the monster's faces. There is no sleeve or insert for a digital code.
Deadstream comes with a great 1080p HD transfer on Blu-ray. The movie is filmed with some slightly above-consumer-grade cameras that give the look of a found-footage movie.
There From computer cameras to cell phone cams, and even smaller hidden cameras - the image never fails to look great, even with those types of equipment churning out the footage. The color palette isn't exactly bubble-gum pop with high levels of brightness. But, the colors used here work for the film. The many layers of yellows, greys, and various shades of green and decaying, dead colors give the house a spooky look. The blue outfit and red blood that splatter across the screen look amazing in these high-definition images.
The black levels are inky and rich without any evidence of crush and the skin tones are natural as well. The detail is always sharp and vivid showcasing wonderful closeups that include practical makeup effects, individual hairs, and textures in the clothing and in the broken-down walls and beds. The practical monster effects reveal some latex and rubbery-like suits that look amazing. There are no major instances of banding, aliasing, or heavy noise here, leaving this with an exquisite-looking picture.
This release comes with a DTS-HD 5.1 audio track that ratchets up the scares at every turn. Sound effects are boisterous and loud with some wonderful footsteps, banging of walls, creaks in the doors, and even some eerie white noise that the heavy mics pick up. Bone crunching and blood spurts sound fantastic as well. The surround speakers pick up those creepy ambient noises of things that go bump in the night. The dynamic range is rather wide and the bass kicks into gear during the bigger action moments with a smooth rumble that never crosses into rocky territory. The dialogue is crisp, clear, and easy to follow. There are no audio problems.
There are 90 minutes worth of extras included here along with a commentary track. This is how studios should present their extras. These are super fun, entertaining, and very informative. It covers almost all elements of production. All of these are worth the time to watch.
Deadstream is a breath of fresh air inside the horror realm. The film manages to walk that perfect line of horror and comedy, where it brings both of those elements to a pitch-perfect narrative with some great performances. The 1080p HD picture looks fantastic and the DTS-HD 5.1 audio sounds wonderful. The bonus features are exquisite too. Highly Recommended!