When I read the summary for this movie, I immediately didn’t want to watch it. Deadstream is a horror-comedy following one YouTuber’s night in a haunted house. Just tell me how does that sound to you? As a pretentious, money-grabbing, and ultimately, a bad movie like dozens of others that tried to do the same thing. However, while they tried and failed, Deadstream tried and motherfucking nailed it! Joseph and Vanessa Winter did something I thought was impossible. They made a refreshing, funny and scary found footage movie.
Deadstream is truly a breath of fresh air in this, I thought by now, dead subgenre. Spanish masterpiece Rec is, in my humble opinion, still the best found-footage horror movie. Although this one came really close. And it’s all because of one man, Joseph Winter. His performance here was excellent. I just loved his snappy comments and those hysterical screams. Man, I just chuckled now because I remembered how they sound. Working on a zero budget, Vanessa and him, created an entertaining movie with a lot of replay value.
So, you might be wondering what’s so different about this movie when all the others who tried to do the same thing failed. Well, the script was very well-written and intelligent. At the same time, it didn’t take itself seriously and yet it managed to generate tension. The tension that greatly contributed to the vibrant atmosphere and the mood of the movie. They got the mood just right and invited you to join them for a night of laughs and scares. Think of it as Evil Dead but with a twist.
Meet Shawn, a YouTuber willing to do anything for clicks. After his channel has hit a roadblock, he decides to do something out of the ordinary. Shawn is going to spend the night in a haunted house and stream the entire thing for his loyal fans. Aptly called Death Manor, this decrepit house has claimed many lives over several centuries. Will Shawn be its latest victim is up to you to find out.
Now, I will admit that the last twenty minutes could have been better. Leaning heavily into Joseph’s charisma and one-liners, Deadstream forgot about the main story. And how you need to keep it compelling even if it’s in the periphery. This is just a minor complaint along with the “fakeness” of some of the props. Just throw some cobwebs on that meat cleaver and cover the whole place with dust if you want a more immersive experience. However, I did love the attention to detail when it came to the streaming stuff. And I know they worked on an extremely limited budget over weekends, over the period of one year.
So, I can’t wait to see their next projects. One of which is V/H/S 99, a horror-comedy anthology I’m dying to check out. Deadstream makes fun of vloggers who are shamelessly willing to do anything for money. And that’s a huge part of why the movie works so well. Although Shawn has this obnoxious personality, we will still find him likable. And that’s down to Joseph’s performance. So, if you’re looking for something different and entertaining, do check out Deadstream, it’s definitely worth watching. And you can find it on Shudder.
Directors: Vanessa Winter, Joseph Winter
Writers: Vanessa Winter, Joseph Winter
Cast: Joseph Winter, Melanie Stone, Jason K. Wixom, Pat Barnett, Jeremy Warner, Gabe Casdorph
Fun Facts: This is Joseph Winter’s first movie. Before Deadstream he was only in short films and in an interview with The Horror Hour, he said that the shoot was quite challenging.