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.
Deadstream was written and directed by Joseph Winter and Vanessa Winter and stars Joseph Winter and Melanie Stone. Deadstream is a modern take on the found footage film, using streaming services like YouTube or Twitch.tv as the source of the footage rather than the typical shaky hand cams. Fret not though, as those shaky hand cam shots have simply been replaced with shaky smartphone footage so we still get that good ol’ found footage feel.
I need to first admit that I went into this film with some negative bias. The concept of the “horror on stream” film has been done a good few times already, with features like Livescream (2018), CAM (2018), Host (2020), and We’re All Going to the World’s Fair (2021) to name but a few—all doing excellent and original interpretations of social media horror. There are a tonne of others as well as a number of short films that have already explored most corners of this concept and I felt like the market was already a little saturated.
The film’s start is incredibly generic and I felt as if my suspicions had all but been confirmed; this was destined to be another barely-spooky movie about murders on stream. We had a single actor and a haunted house and everything seemed very wash, rinse, and repeat. And then, to my surprise and delight, we are introduced to Chrissy (Melanie Stone).
Stone’s Chrissy changes the entire tone of the film and really adds a much-needed injection of fun and danger to the feature. We get questions, mystery, playfulness and then later, a fantastic twist that turns the film a full 180. Deadstream cleverly goes from generic to genuine in a matter of minutes and stays frightfully entertaining all the way to the film’s conclusion.
Technically, you’re still getting that found-footage style production with mounted cameras and alternating screens and all the rest, but I’d say it’s on the better end of the production value spectrum. The special effects are great and the editing, score, and pacing are all on point. The film delivers on what it promises; a real-time fight for survival.
While not a masterpiece nor a film that really pushes boundaries, Deadstream has a few unique ideas that it plays with successfully. It walks a fine line between horror and horror/comedy, not quite falling into the latter category but staying incredibly fun to watch. I’d definitely recommend it to any genre fans as an easy and enjoyable watch that offers a few frights after you turn out those lights. Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid. Trailer and artwork below. Deadstream will be streaming on Shudder from October 6th.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.