Monday, February 27, 2023

Scare BNB: The Hosts

Seriously, Hollywood and indie content makers just seem to hate people making an extra buck. If you doubt it, when was the last time you saw a positive portrayal of online BNB host or a ride-share driver in film or television? It is pretty clear these hosts are little weird too, but in this case they have an excuse. They market their cottage as haunted, so they reasonably assume their latest guests want the usual “treatment” in Scare BNB: The Hosts, the first two-episode arc of the new anthology series premiering tomorrow on

June, Layla, Ellie, and Gemma are all old friends, who have come to Nashville for their favorite annual music festival. June and Layla are already a couple, whereas Ellie and Gemma are slowly taking their friendship in that direction, after the latter’s recent breakup. To their credit, Mitchell and Deede, their online BNB hosts, do not seem to care about that. Their brand of creepiness is something else entirely.

Initially, the retired couple tries to treat the women to some jump scares, but when they learn their guests are not into it, they assure them the cottage is not really haunted. It is just their marketing gimmick to stand out. However, Layla, who has a history of sleep paralysis (during which she regularly sees demonic figures), has a particularly disturbing episode. The most distressing part being June can see it to.

The two thirty-minute-plus episodes of
The Hosts story arc constitute a pretty clever and economically constructed anthology story. The sleep paralysis angle really distinguishes it from all the previous BNB horror already out there. is dedicated to “queer” programming, but both episodes of The Hosts are quite accessible to viewers outside their target community. (Sure, there is some hooking-up going on, but it is healthier and less in viewers faces than Hulu’s upcoming Wreck.)

Sterling Victorian and Lily Richards help elevate the arc as the cerebral Layla and the somewhat irresponsible Gemma. (Their partners are not such strong personas, but for the horror genre, two out of four is pretty good). Marvin E. West and Deborah Seidel also get a lot laughs as the titular hosts. They manage to be both a little looney and quite off-puttingly strange.

Regardless of its target demo, anyone who enjoys mature horror anthologies should appreciate
Scare BNB: The Hosts. It can lay claim to more originality than a lot of profitable horror films. It is therefore recommended for horror fans and regular subscribers of, where Scare BNB: The Hosts starts streaming tomorrow (2/28).