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Home > Deadstream (2022): A Review

Deadstream (2022): A Review

The Heart-Pounding Horrific Tale of Social Media Fame

Shawn Ruddy, the main character, is portrayed by Joseph Winter, who also wrote and directed the screenplay with his wife, Vanessa. Shawn Ruddy is a disgraced Internet personality trying to make a comeback. He’s known for outrageous stunts and has come up with the craziest idea he could ever tackle – spending the night in a haunted house and streaming it live.

Ruddy comes armed with only a head cam, a selfie cam, and his enormous ego to ensure he doesn’t chicken out. Shawn throws his car’s spark plugs into the woods and padlocks himself inside the old, dilapidated house, “Death Manor.”A young woman once hung herself at “Death Manor,” leading to other bizarre deaths within its walls. If viewers think this will end well for him, they’ve never seen a horror movie.

Some Advantages

Deadstream is presented as a live broadcast. The “found footage” concept may seem worn out by now, but the film executes it entertainingly. In addition to the camera on his body, Shawn hangs several other small cameras in different ghost rooms to switch back and forth between locations. The placement of the various cameras helps to avoid the visual sense of repetition that one often gets with found footage films.

Another advantage is that the film is more brightly lit than most found footage films. Watchers can see what’s going on. And they’ll want to see everything. It’s unclear if the house where the movie was shot in Utah is a haunted house or was built to invoke the incredible scenery. Either way, the “Death Manor” is practically its own character. The illusion is thoroughly convincing.

The Perfect Blend of Horror and Comedy 

Over time, you learn the young woman’s identity and why she hung herself. This gives the story substance and a real sense of eeriness. Deadstream is a biting satire on YouTube personalities whose desire for followership and monetization clouds their good judgment. Winter nails her narcissistic “look at me!” persona perfectly.

The concept of Shawn using his online skills to survive a terror-filled situation ties the two halves together. The scenes of terror in the film are brilliantly crafted. There is more than one moment where audiences are guaranteed to cringe–viewers will not know what’s coming or where it’s coming from. The practical effects add a touch of magic to the film. Grotesque sights occur regularly. Admirably, the film can scare you and make you laugh. Even when attacked by a vile paranormal being, Shawn is still afraid he’ll be removed from the platform for swearing, feeling two opposing involuntary physical reactions, simultaneously bizarre but exciting.

Deadstream offers one big surprise after another. The story constantly turns abruptly, surprising the audience and keeping the fun going. And because the two halves are so well balanced, at no point do you know whether to laugh or jump, which adds to the sensation. 


A Funny Parody of the Blair Witch Project

Two different types of horror emerge from this premise. The first is the traditional form of found-footage horror, although Winter undoubtedly gives it its own terrifying flavor. It’s difficult to distinguish between real and fake horror – and after a while, there’s no distinction because the moment Shawn feels genuine fear, he heightens it to play with his audience. The result is a benign, banal, and malevolent endpoint of digital horror, just as Shawn’s entire persona is completely anti-anxiety. Shawn begins by explaining the “rules” of digital horror. A quarter century later, even explaining those rules has become a rule, forcing Shawn to ironize the notion of rules and everything else.

He begins with a comical quote from The Blair Witch Project and keeps building on the innovations of Paranormal Activity as if to summarize the entire history of horror that these films represent in his live Stream, which also summarizes all the major haunted media of the last two decades. Viewers are presented with a 1995 photo of the house, a 1998 episode of Ghost Hunters, and a 2002 EVP session Shawn shares during the Stream. Later, as things get creepier, fans respond by sharing videos with critical information, making the Stream a convergence point for past and present horror media. This convergence does amplify the horror. Deadstream is an embodied history of digital terror – a walk through the last twenty years – and a fully realized piece of found-footage horror in its own right.

More Creepy Moments

Of course, there are still creepy moments when the ghosts and ghouls show up, and things get bloody; it’s ridiculously fun. Especially since almost everything is done practically and to great effect, the creature designs are great and add a strange, grounding element to the film that, between the supernatural and Shawn’s personality, can barely keep itself grounded in reality.

Deadstream does everything right. The commentary on culture is in the background as viewers join Shawn on a ridiculously wild ride. Deadstream mixes Blair Witch and Evil Dead; the creeps come as quickly as the laughs. Shawn’s experiences get crazier and crazier as they progress, culminating in a finale that pulls out all the stops. The execution and creativity of this 87-minute adrenaline rush will dazzle horror fans.

Final Synopsis: New Generation Evil Dead Horror Comedy

This is a narrative that is intelligent, funny, suspenseful, engaging, and deeply satisfying. Despite the cheekiness or bombast, the dialogue, scenes, and characters are written with superb wit, intelligence, and attention to detail. It isn’t easy to describe all that is so well done here succinctly. It may be the measured pace with which the characters’ background and plot elements are revealed or introduced. Or maybe it’s the fine detail that goes into every facet. Then again, it could be the thoughtfulness of the story as a whole.

The costume design, makeup, hairstyling, prosthetics, fabrications, creature design, blood, and gore effects. Also, the (almost exclusive) practical and (much less frequent) digital effects and the stunts are all second to none. This genre is known for its visuals – and Deadstream undoubtedly joins the ranks of the best and is the latest for what a genre flick can look like. Winters has found such a fantastic location, and the result speaks for itself.

Deadstream is stunningly made, frankly outstanding, and is undoubtedly one of the best genre films. And it can be streamed on Shudder and Prime.


Deadstream (2022) Official Shudder Trailer.  

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Hello, I'm Joycelyne. As a writer, I pride myself on offering creativity, suspense, clarity, and a strong narrative voice to all writing projects.My work grabs the reader's interest from the start and holds it to the end.I am an author, writer, translator, and English language teacher