The Host (2020 film)

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The Host
THE HOST Theatrical release poster (2020).jpg
Movie poster
Directed by Andy Newbery
Produced by Zachary Weckstein
Screenplay byFinola Geraghty
Brendan Bishop
Laurence Lamers
Story byLaurence Lamers
Music byWan Pin Chu
CinematographyOona Menges
Edited by Ot Louw
Julien Leloup
Distributed by Vertical Entertainment
Release date
17 January 2020 (North America)
17 April 2020 (United Kingdom)
13 October 2020 (The Netherlands)
Running time
102 minutes

The Host is a 2020 English-language mystery crime thriller film produced in the Netherlands by Pearl Pictures Productions. The film is directed by Andy Newbery and produced by Zachary Weckstein, both of whom are making their feature film debut. [1] The Host is the story of a London banker who seizes the opportunity to change his mundane life by taking a risk with his employer's money. A series of events leads him to travel to Amsterdam, a city of dark secrets where all is not as it seems. Driven by power players, drugs, seduction, and violence, the film portrays a deadly game of choice and consequence. [2]



Robert Atkinson (Mike Beckingham, younger brother of Simon Pegg [3] ), a bank employee, is left feeling worthless after an afternoon fling with his boss's wife. The same day, he closes a lucrative deal with a bank client, placing the money in a safety deposit box. Robert plans to use the money to turn his life around but he succumbs to one of his various vices instead, and proceeds to gamble all the money away, while borrowing even more. Unaware that he is under surveillance, Robert is approached by a stranger, Lau Hoi Ho (Togo Igawa), at a gambling hall. Ho offers to pay off his debts, under the condition that Robert agrees to transport a briefcase from London to Amsterdam. Finding himself in a desperate situation and attracted by the offer, Robert agrees to the deal. [4]

US DEA agent Herbert Summers (Nigel Barber), who is seated next to Robert on his flight to Amsterdam, reveals his true identity and discloses that he is on the trail of Triad leader Lau Hoi Ho. Robert is placed in a compromised position and forced to assist the DEA in Ho's capture. After arriving at his hotel, Robert finds out that it is overbooked and his room is no longer available. The hotel manager, Gerrie (Reinout Bussemaker), summons a favour from Vera Tribbe (Emmy Award winner Maryam Hassouni), who happens to have a room available nearby. Robert and Gerrie proceed to Vera's house, unaware of being followed by the Chinese mafia. After settling in, Robert makes Vera's acquaintance and they seem to develop a fondness for each other. From here, events spiral out of control. Robert goes missing and his brother Steve (Dougie Poynter) goes searching for him. DEA agent Summers is enmeshed in the shadowy waterways of Amsterdam as he follows the thread of his investigation to the story's final denouement. [5]



From left, The Host producer Zachary Weckstein, actor Jeroen Krabbe, and Director Andy Newberry Producer Zachary Weckstein, Actor Jeroen Krabbe, and Director Andy Newberry.jpg
From left, The Host producer Zachary Weckstein, actor Jeroen Krabbé, and Director Andy Newberry

Principal photography on The Host began in March 2018 on location in a historic Amsterdam canal mansion. The film was shot in numerous locations around London and Amsterdam over five weeks, and completed in September 2018. Producer Zachary Weckstein stated, "Both Amsterdam and London have their own unique beauty. Holland is really welcoming to filmmakers...we were surrounded by unique architecture, skies..." [6] The production budget was kept under a million euros.


British Jamaican R&B and soul singer Ruby Turner was hired to write and perform a theme song for the film. The result was "Chasing Love". [7] The score was composed by Wan Pin Chu. [8]


The Host premiered at the May Fair Hotel in London on 6 January 2020. The film had both its theatrical and VoD/streaming first release in North America on 17 January 2020 by Vertical Entertainment. [9]


The review consensus at Rotten Tomatoes for The Host had 25% of critics recommending the film, based on 16 reviews and an average rating of 3.70 out of 10. [10] Morning Star billed it as Film of the Week. [11] Evening Standard commented on Oona Menges' work: "the cinematography is glorious. Covent Garden could be Rome, as Oona Menges spins soft sunbeams into cinematic gold." [12]

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