Sara Canning stars as Claire, a YouTuber in her new horror thriller film, Superhost.
In Superhost, Teddy and Claire are travel vloggers who run a channel called “SUPERHOST” where they travel and share their experiences in and around vacation homes, and until recently, had become successful doing it. With a dwindling subscriber count, they find the perfect opportunity to create content that people want to see when they meet Rebecca, the host of their most recent trip. Slowly they start to realize that something isn’t right with Rebecca, and as they investigate it further, they unlock a horrifying truth. She doesn’t just want a great review, she wants something far worse.
Directed and written by Brandon Christensen (Z, Still/Born), SUPERHOST stars Sara Canning (“9-1-1”, “Nancy Drew”), Osric Chau (“The Flash”, “Nancy Drew”), Gracie Gillam (“Z Nation,” “Scream Queens”), and Barbara Crampton (Jakob’s Wife).
Check out my interview with Sara!
The location was just so pretty, where was this filmed?
Sara: Mount Charleston, Nevada. It’s only about 30 minutes outside of Vegas. It’s unbelievable. It felt like being in a desert on a mountaintop. It was wild to me how quickly things become so different once you leave Vegas. It was a beautiful location and nice to be, because we were shooting during the pandemic, it was nice to be a little more isolated as well.
What was it like working with such a small group of people?
Sara: It was great. The cast and crew, it was quite small all around. We kept everything contained really to that house. I love working that way with independent films, people wear many hats, I think and everyone’s there to just make the best film possible and it becomes a family so quickly. Yeah, I love working that way.
What was it like working very intimately with Osric and then with Gracie?
Sara: Great! They’re both wonderful and we laughed a lot. It was really a really fun set to be on. Osric and I had the shared challenge of trying to extend ourselves into being YouTube personalities, which neither one of us find easy. So, we kind of worked together on that, like, ‘how do we do this well, or attempt to do it well?’ We were sharing YouTube videos back and forth and kind of just marveling at what a different skill set it is than being an actor. And yeah, Gracie is such a bubbly vibrant spirit, like she’s so fun to work with. And it was just really fun to watch her find this amazing villain that she was playing.
Her acting was just insane!
Sara: I know that they’ve talked about this in interviews, but she had a bit of a Disney beginning in terms of her start as an actor, and he (Brandon Christensen) was excited to capitalize on sort of what that adds to her press wise, too. I know that that was definitely incorporated in the film.
You mentioned that you and Osric had to kind of work together to create your YouTube personas, were there any specific channels that you really focused on?
Sara: Yeah, we watched some famous YouTube couples’ videos. I can’t remember any of them because I don’t watch YouTube, but I remember talking to him and just saying, ‘this is wild to me that people do this. Like this is amazing and so far from anything I would ever do.’ Which is so funny because I’m an actor and in front of cameras constantly, but not in that sort of like, ‘let me showcase my life for you in any way.’ I find that fascinating. My jaw would be on the floor sometimes, like, ‘how do people do this every week?’ Even though there’s certainly some sort of written element to a lot of it of like what will we share, what won’t we share? The notion of sharing anything about my own life is- I just can’t comprehend it. So people who are able to do that and do it well and do it in a sustainable way and really enjoy it is amazing to me.
Yeah, and there’s this overall theme of clickbait which kind of parallels like real life.
Sara: Yeah. I’ve been on a pretty specific journey on my own around social media and finding a balance around it. I don’t actually allow myself to check it very often because I find it too much of a distraction even from, this sounds so nerdy, but giving myself time to stare out the window and daydream is actually really important to me, and I’m afraid we’re losing that. I’m actually really afraid that we are losing our ability to, through quote unquote boredom, find something new for ourselves or even be uncomfortable. I think it’s essential to be able to sit in undistracted silence and I’m really afraid that we are generationally losing that. So yeah, I think clickbait is awful, personally, but I’m not an idiot like I know that there are great benefits to being able to be connected. But I really try to stay away from it, personally. It’s not great for my brain. It’s not great for my sense of, you know, just sort of how the day went. I hate, hate feeling like I’ve lost any part of my day to scrolling or following rabbit holes that aren’t actually what I intended to follow. I can’t stand that feeling. So I have to be really careful about it.
That’s totally fair. I’m not as good at avoiding social media, but I’m trying my best.
Sara: Yeah, and I think that even if we take like, the simple thing of leaving your phone across the room and reading a book It’s so insane, it’s like a victory to watch a film without also looking at a phone, like I was talking with someone about that the other day. I think we’re in a bit of a dire situation in terms of our attention. And I’ve been thinking a lot about attention spans and yeah, I think small things really help to just be aware of it.
Thanks for chatting with me, is there anything else that you wanted to add about Superhost?
Sara: Just that I loved working on the film, and I hope people have a lot of fun with it. We just really want people to have fun watching it.