Reviews | Written by Joel Harley 28/08/2022

DEADSTREAM [FRIGHTFEST 2022]

When a streamer (Joseph Winter) decides to spend the night in one of America’s most haunted houses, he annoys the resident ghosts so much that they dedicate the rest of their evening to tormenting him. Well, who can blame them? Dude brought a literal wheel of annoying things to do (Ouija board, séance etc) into their actual home. Someone call the bio-exorcist already.

Demonitized after negative reaction to his previous online hijinks, Internet personality Shawn Ruddy sees a night in a haunted house as his path to redemption. Unfortunately, the one he picked happens to be home to tortured poet Mildred Platt. As the night darkens, so Shawn finds that streaming clicks and sponsors are the least of his worries.

Taking advantage of the latest in streaming technology and portable camera equipment, Joseph and Vanessa Winter’s found footage comedy horror compromises on neither comedy nor horror. Both are given full attention, resulting in a film that’s by turns pee-your-pants funny and poo-your-pants scary.

Talking of bodily fluids: not since The Evil Dead has a protagonist in a ghost story been as abused as Shawn Ruddy. The film takes full advantage of its cowardly, shrieking lead – and the audience’s distaste for his behaviour. While some of the ghost visuals leave something to be desired, the jump scares are real. It's as though someone threw Logan Paul (Japanese suicide forest era Logan Paul, not ludicrous boxing era Logan Paul) into the house from Resident Evil 7.

Real scares, and ones so visceral as to not be undercut by the humour which tends to follow every big moment. Laughs in a horror film are often considered to be a form of audience relief from the scares. In the case of these big, hearty belly laughs, consider Deadstream’s audience thoroughly relieved.