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Film / Deadstream

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Deadstream is a 2022 Found Footage Horror Comedy film directed and written by Joseph and Vanessa Winters. Joseph also stars as the lead character.

Shawn Ruddy is a disgraced internet personality who attempts to make his big comeback by livestreaming to his followers while exploring a haunted house. However, when he accidentally pisses off a vengeful spirit, his stream turns into a fight for survival.

The film was released on the 6th of October, 2022, on the streaming service Shudder.


This film contains examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Shawn seems to regard his fangirl Chrissy this way almost immediately upon meeting her. He wants to kick her out of the house (out of concern it might jeopardize his sponsorship) and primarily expresses annoyance, even muttering to himself how he wants to kill her. This is even before he realizes she's Mildred the antagonist.
  • Actor Allusion: Shawn talks about making a movie after faking a possession. His actor, Joseph Winters, is in fact the co-writer and co-director of the film.
  • Arrow Cam: A spear cam improvised by Shawn for cinematic effect.
  • Arc Words: "The pond water is still" this turns out to be a line taken from one of Mildred's poems.
  • Black Comedy:
    • The livestream comment section give the film this tone, with comments popping up at extremely inappropriate times. One of the film's twists, that Shawn disrupted a symbol that kept the spirits of the house at bay, is conveyed by a twelve-year-old boy in a YouTube video.
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    • Shawn is hiding in a closet when he discovers Mildred's head between his thighs. The Jump Scare is played for laughs when Mildred screams "GUILTY!" and then bites into his privates.
  • Blade on a Stick: Shawn makes a makeshift spear out of a knife and a stick.
  • Body Horror: Most of the disfigured, misshapen and rotten residents of Dead Mansion display this trope.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The sparkplugs to Shawn's car, which he throws into the woods at the beginning of the film. When it seems like he's close to escaping, he's forced to try and find them which leads to his encounter with the Plant-Thing.
    • The Meat Cleaver.
    • Mildred's severed finger found in the Wooden Box clues in what Shawn has to do in order to activate the ritual.
  • Cool Old Lady: The grandmother who created the hamsa and defeated Mildred in the past is a dignified old lady who gives the best advice in the film. Shame she's trying to give it to Shawn.
  • Deadly Bath: Shawn is hypnotized and submerges himself in the bathtub. He snaps out of it just in time to fend of an attack by a possessed corpse.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Shawn's motto in life. He does profoundly stupid stunts for clicks, and his thoughtlessness ended up with a homeless man being hospitalized. His total lack of foresight comes to bite him in the house. Near the end, stressed and out of time, he opts to use black magic, which involves selling his soul to the devil. The option to re-craft the protective Hamsa was never discussed.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: The movie features Shawn using duct tape for a surprising variety of scenarios.
    • Taping cameras to walls for extra stability, or sticks to look around corners.
    • Stopping his bleeding. Twice.
    • Stopping Mildred from moving while he does a ritual.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Shawn figures out Mildred wants an audience for her poem, and concocts a plan to stop her.
  • Expy: LivVid is one for Twitch.
  • Face Cam: Part of Shawn's setup is a chest-mounted Go Pro aimed at his face.
  • Fangirl: Chrissy is this for Shawn, piecing together where he was based on things said throughout his stream. Subverted as Shawn discovers that she's in fact Mildred, the main evil spirit that resides in the house.
  • Fingore: A sacrifice of flesh is required to get power. Mildred chose to cut off her own finger. In the climax Shawn follows her lead.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: When Shawn gets back to the child's room and sees a child turned his back to him, he sees that where there was once a single doll, there are now two. The child is another weird ghost, with a second being conjoined in front of him.
  • Fixed Camera: Shawn set up several cameras in fixed locations in the house. He accesses their feed using his ipad.
  • Foreshadowing: Chrissy knows the house well, appears and disappears seemingly at random, and gets offended when Shawn insults Mildred's poetry... It was later revealed she's actually Mildred.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Throughout the film, Shawn consistently self-censors himself to not lose his sponsors.
  • Haunted House: The main setting of the film is Dead Mansion, a dilapidated house that Shawn explores for his "big comeback" only to find the paranormal phenomena is far from a story.
  • Hero of Another Story: The unnamed viewer's grandmother once faced, defeated, and sealed Mildred away when she was a young nanny in the house, but now she's an old woman trying to give Shawn advice to survive the night.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Many, if not most of Shawn's mishaps are result of his own action. Example:
    • Shawn ties one end of a rope to himself and the other to the bed to climb out the window. Spooky stuffs happen. Shawn runs out of the room in a panic, forgetting to untie himself. Hilarity Ensues.
    • Shawn uses a spear to fight an invisible ghost. Said ghost takes the spear and stabs him with it.
  • Holy Burns Evil: Holy water works really well for the one case it is employed.
  • Hope Spot: When a policeman shows, Shawn thinks that he's safe. However, the "policeman" turns out to be yet another demonic spirit in disguise.
  • In-Universe Camera: A given, considering the movie is a long livestream broadcast.
  • Jump Scare: Quite a few, given the film's Found Footage style.
  • Minimalist Cast: For the bulk of the movie, only Shawn is in the movie. Chrissy appear early, but her appearances become more sparse as she takes on the role of the ghostly antagonist. There are a handful of other characters that appear through videos sent to Shawn, but they're very minor. There's also one minor antagonist in the form of the zombie cop Shawn finds outside.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Shawn sets up his equipment in the only room with no history of paranormal activity. He sees a strange talisman-like thing in the closet. So of course he removes it and later breaks it, rendering the room no longer safe.
  • No Ending: The film seems to be taking a Bittersweet Ending approach after Shawn fights off and kills the spirit of Mildred. However, he's then confronted by the other demonic spirits who appear to attack him. Then, the livestream's signal cuts out, ending the film.
  • No Escape but Down: Shawn jumps out a window to escape the reanimated corpses
  • Noodle Incident: Shawn's incident that put a homeless man in hospital. Near the end it was revealed in full context.
  • Nose Shove: Mildred repeatedly shoves her finger into Shawn's nose. Her first attempt leaves a broken fingernail inside.
  • Oh, Crap!: The lady who made the hansa has this reaction when she learns that Shawn destroyed it.
    "Oh shit. He's gonna die."
  • Ouija Board: Shawn brings one along to the haunted house.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Dead Mansion's undead residents seem to fall between ghost and zombies. They seem to appear and disappear at will, sometimes show up on camera but not in real life, and have a tangible form that can be dismembered and "killed."
  • P.O.V. Cam: Part of Shawn's setup is a Go Pro on his forehead.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Shawn's typical reaction when something scary happens.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After Chrissy's body vanishes Shawn decides enough is enough.
  • Sorry That I'm Dying: As he enact his admittedly long shot plan to overpower Mildred, Shawn takes the time to apologize to his viewers for his past video and behavior.
  • Take That!: Live-streamers, especially ones in the vein of Logan Paul, are portrayed as complete assholes through the character of Shawn, who acts obnoxious for the sake of views. It's also revealed that he did something that put a homeless man in the hospital and also did a video where he smuggled himself across the Mexican border.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: This happens whenever Shawn opens his chat screen to interact with his viewer. It gets quite funny when he starts to loudly argue with his chat while supposed to be hiding.
  • Tempting Fate: The point of Shawn's incursion into Dead Mansion: do as many dumb/forbidden things as possible while in a haunted house: investigating loud noises, doing a seance, using a Ouija board, etc.
  • Terrible Artist: For all that Mildred desired fame, her poems aren't all that good to begin with.
  • Thinking Out Loud: Shawn does this. Justified since he is livestreaming.
  • Undead Child: One of the victims. Extra creepy factor for having someone else stuck onto him, like a messed up conjoined twin.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Shawn is a self-absorbed man who has caused pain and distress to random people with his stunts and pranks, including the at least vaguely racist stunt of smuggling himself across the border and something else that put a homeless man in the hospital. The crap he goes through is a lot, but it happening to him makes it funnier.
  • Wham Line: When Shawn finally opens the box he found in the secret room, he makes a loud realisation:
    Shawn: Chrissy is Mildred!
  • Your Head Asplode: Happens to a reanimated corpse injected with holy water