Tag Archives for " Psychological Thriller "
Film by: Daniel Goldhaber & Isa Mazzei
Starring: Madeline Brewer, Patch Darragh, Melora Walters
Run Time: 94mins
“Cam” is the latest hyped horror to hit Netflix and is said to be “freaking everyone out.” It has certainly been a strong year in horror for the streaming giant with the likes of “Veronica,” “Cargo” and “Apostle” all getting decent receptions. That is also before we even get to the success of TV show “The Haunting of Hill House.” Shall “Cam” be another horror hit for the company? Early reactions suggest so.
The premise of the movie is a relatively simple one of stolen identity. Telling the story of Alice (Madeline Brewer) an intelligent, ambitious young woman who does camgirl shows, under the pseudonym Lola_Lola, in her house and hopes of becoming the most-watched girl on the site using a variety of shock tactics to so. Just as she appears to be going up the rankings, she discovers she has been replaced on her show by a woman who is the exact double of her. She then sets out to find out how this could happen and who this woman is. It is a very Hitchcockian set-up but one that is made to feel current due to the filmmakers, unusually the film is credited to both director Daniel Goldhaber and writer Isa Mazzei, clever use of technology.
Not that any of this arrives until the end of the first act as the opening half an hour or so merely focuses on Alice’s life and her cam show performances. A smart move on the filmmaker’s part as it grounds Alice’s reality and makes us root for her once the stolen identity plot. This component is essential to making the movie work as the story largely rests on Brewer’s shoulders. A factor she deals with well in what is an excellent performance.
These early scenes are filmed with an almost documentarian eye and realistically paints that world. Not that this should be surprising given as writer Mazzei’s own camgirl experiences. Also while it could be argued how feminist the film there is a clear subversion of the male gaze going on here. As all the camshow scenes are not in the least titillating instead portraying the often grimy reality of it. Particularly the opening scene where Alice fakes a suicide with some of her online admirers actively baying her into it. The cam scenes are also visually interesting as their Day-Glo surrealism contrasts well with the documentary look of the real world scenes.
If there are drawbacks here, it is you get the sense the filmmakers did not quite know how to wrap this mystery up as the conclusion leaves far more questions than answer. Not that everything has to be cut and dry, just that there is something slightly unsatisfying about the ending. There are also times it feels merely like an extended “Black Mirror” episode. Regarding the actual horror as well you feel that the filmmakers could have added more scares or cranked up the suspense more. Although it is telling that some of the most horrifying scenes are Alice’s real-world interactions with men who know or find out she is a sex worker.
In our latest episode NHE host Scott Murphy talks with writer/director Robert Krzykowski. Scott talks to Robert about his debut feature “The Man who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot” about how he came up with the idea of the movie, the design of the film, how he assembled his all-star cast and how it is very much not the grindhouse picture you would expect from that title. Aside from the film our host also talks to Robert about how he got into filmmaking, his comic “Elsie Hooper,” his possibly unexpected directorial influences and much, much more…
This month on New Horror Express we talk to Australian film director Ben Young. We talk a lot about his new film “Extinction” as well as his feature debut “Hounds of Love” which was a breakout hit last year. As well as going into the shoots of both movies we also talk about the contrasts on working on a big budget set as opposed to an indie one, working on other’s material as opposed to your own and whether there is any difference in communicating with “name” actors. It should also be noted that at the point this interview was recorded “Extinction” had not been released yet so the interview delves into greater detail on “Hounds of Love”. Ben and I discuss the look of the movie, how he captured period detail, the stir it caused in Australia and his confusion with the movie been given the horror tag. As well as those two movies we talk about how he got into filmmaking, influences and he gives a tease on his latest project 31 AD2: The Future is Us.
Also you would like to check out either “Extinction” or “Hounds of Love” click the links below. Just don’t rush off to watch them before you listen to Ben’s fascinating thoughts on the films!
In this month’s episode we talk to Australian film director Luke Shanahan. We talk to him extensively about his new movie Rabbit. We delve into how the film was conceived, the look, the score, how it differs from the “typical Australian horror” and much more besides. Away from “Rabbit” we discuss Shanahan’s influences as well as his directorial career so far and upcoming projects he is working on. in another fun-[packed NHE interview you definitely want to tune in for!!