Now most people say that "so and so" is dead, because they've dropped off the internet. But, what happens when the internet is the cause? Today, I'm exploring the new horror platform. Social media. Since the beginning of the 2010 era, horror films have been divulged into two categories. Found footage or social media. Sometimes, a mix of the two. In this article, I'm here to review five films that best describe this new genre of horror. Now instead of the traditional review, I'm listing out what made the film worth while. Some of these films may have more Cons than Pros, but that doesn't mean it's not worth watching. No spoilers of course. (Well, not any major spoilers anyway)
Let's start with the 2012 film Smiley.
Smiley directed by Michael Gallagher is a movie for the internet, by the internet, and created with the help of internet celebrities like Destorm Power, Nikki Limo, and the cast of Youtube's TotallySketch Channel. Enter our soon to be D.I.D (Damsel in Distress), Ashley (Caitlin Gerard) who drunk at a party learns of the myth of Smiley. Now, we all know what happens in situations like this. And of course like any other drunk college student, she tempts fate and the rest is history. The myth states that if you video chat someone and type the phrase "I did it for the lulz" three times, Smiley appears and kills them. Now everyone believes that it's just a joke. That some guy in his basement came up with this to scare people online. But, Ashley realizes that this joke has a killer punchline.
- Movie starring some of your favorite Youtube stars.
- Original Concept (The Price of Internet Fame diminishes good judgment)
- Keith David (Because who doesn't like Keith David)
- Real world Logic: "How could one person be everywhere at once?"
- Discussion of the moral value of internet users
- Police are of no help
- Horror Cliche: Attractive Babysitter dies in the first 5 mins by hubris
Unlike Rotten Tomato and IMDB, I say Smiley deserves a 4 out 5.
Next on the list is The Den (2013)
I guess old habits die hard, because Melanie Papalia (Smiley, 2nd to the right in the poster) is back for more internet carnage. Directed by Zachary Donohue, we stumble into the life of sociology major, Elizabeth Benton. Just given a grant for her new research project, Elizabeth decides to video chat and record all of her interactions that she has. Literally, the opposite of what are parents would tell us not to do as kids growing up. Things go to a great start, until one night she witnesses a murder and her life is turned inside out. Quick reader! To the compelling argument section, away!
- Change of pace in the story
- "Hacker-Killer" slowly ruining main character's life
- Spam calls still exist. Even in video chat (Nigerian Prince that wants to pay you a million dollars...Ahh nostalgia)
- "Hacker-Killer" wasted no time at all killing the other characters
- The "Give Me Everyone Button" in a video chat program (Definitely not safe...I mean really 9 times out of 10 your gonna see some guy's dick)
- The Police are still slow to help (Should of called the FBI)
- Really violent pranks (the disconnect of the conscious online)
- "Because it's the internet" excuse
- Quick tempered characters
- Watching gun videos to protect yourself, knowing that "he's" watching you
- Hacker-Killer is way too powerful
Questions that weren't answered in the film:
- Why Elizabeth?
- How many killers are there?
- Is the Killer related to Elizabeth in anyway?
I'll give this a 3.5 out 5. It has the potential to be better if it had stronger advertisement. Also, don't ever press the "Give Me Everyone" button. That's just asking for trouble.
Number three on the list is titled Girl House (2014). Yeah, this should be self-explanatory.
Directed by Trevor Matthews, Girl House tells the story of struggling college student Kylie Atkins (Ali Corbin) who finds a lucrative "outlet" to make some extra cash. Yes people, she has morals. She's not a stripper, God! Just the occasional web cam video. And we're talking 24/7 nonstop. In the shower, microwaving pizza rolls, and of course the expected sex from every horror movie. Now normally, if your flipping your tv channels late at night you'll find this on Showtime. So no need to go thru hours of internet links to watch it. On her first night, Kylie garners total viewership of the website. Especially from the website's residential regular, Loverboy (Slaine; Hip Hop MC). Yeah, because he was so loving when he massacred them. LIST!
- Using Tomandandy as their movie score (Amazing music artist)
- Semi-Original Origin
- A lot of stripteasing
- Supportive best friend
- Multiple Cameras for security
- Bullied kid from intro is apparently a "friendly stalker"
- A lot of sex
- Childhood crush has faith that the main character is only doing this for "good intent"
- Main character is really considerate of strangers
- Relationship between main character and childhood friend works out
- The police actually help. They send the frickin' S.W.A.T team. The S.W.A.T team people.
- The girls were not going down with out a fight
- Really slutty country girls at a young age (Like 9 or 10)
- A lot of stripteasing
- The "They can't reach us" cliche
- Webcam company has way too much money (Really. Private limos, private home with saunas, huge pools, and game rooms. How many people watch them?)
- Multiple Cameras in the house (Nothing is sacred)
- Typical Asian girl stereotype of being really attractive, really smart, and really horny
- The "look at the bright side" cliche
- Bad "$5 footlong" Subway sex jokes
- Childhood friend watches crush on webcam almost every night before asking her out (At least he didn't kill anyone)
- A lot of sex
- Hacker with way too much power (Seriously, dude could hack the pentagon in his case.)
- Broke and homeless ex-roommate who is addicted to heroin is apparently in great condition ( Seriously, have you ever seen a heroin addict with straight white teeth and toned abs?)
Contradiction: The CEO of the company considers himself the new "Hugh Hefner" by not "pimping" the girls out. But he's gay. (Nothing against his choice, but I'm pretty sure somewhere on reddit there's an explanation for why his logic is wrong.)
- Police go to the wrong house on the property and stay there (If you can see the killer from the IT house where the camera feed records, you should've stormed the main house immediately.)
- Couple notice the killer, but continue to have sex anyway
- House girl Devon kills herself instead of surviving because she didn't want to look like she did (no fingers and slashed face. If you watch this, you'll understand why it's here)
Even though it was a good movie, I'm sticking with the rating the critics gave. 3 out 5. Like Randy said in Scream, there's always the obligatory "tit shot". They over did it here. I know they wanted to have a lock-n-key audience. But, that audience won't care about the plot. Also, just a lot sex. I mean they just drowned this film in sex.
Number 4 on the list is the MTV Horror film, Unfriended (2015)
I bet you every person who saw this didn't use Skype for like a week. Directed by Leo Gabriadze, Unfriended takes places in Fresno, California where six friends are stalked and murder by the spirit of Laura Barns. Who is Laura Barns you ask? Former friend to the cast turned out to become bullied and publicly humiliated online. These series of unfortunate events, led to her committing suicide. Now on the anniversary of her death, Laura's spirit returns to terrorize her former friends. As the mystery unravels, we soon learn that these six friends just might of gotten what they deserved. Let me just say that this movie deserves a sequel. Immediately. Let's hit the list.
- Original Story and Concept
- Massive backstory lore to keep audience in the loop
- Cute character couples
- Consideration for the deceased
- Actually reporting someone on Facebook
- Payback is a bitch
- Appropriate interpretation of the word "Ghetto"(You have to see it to understand)
- The one friend who is really good with computers
- Multiple social media platforms: Were talking LiveLeak, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype, and Youtube
- Use of real world information (Police codes)
- The police actually show up within their response time
- The Spirit of Laura Barns really, really, really, likes to fuck with people
- Sexually violent striptease is joked about
- Cliche "prom night" sex
- Cliche group of friends (Assholes)
- Amy Schumer's "Byeeeeee" is used a lot
- Subliminal Teen Wolf Ads
- Music choice for a high school girl (Johnny Cash...really? Maybe just Ring of Fire, but not a whole album)
- The "Suck my dick" response from a girl (Why do girls say that anyway?)
- Partial stereotype to the word "Ghetto"
- No respect for the dead
- Excessive use of "Stupid bitch" (There are better comebacks in the world)
- Tempting fate cliche
- Slept with best friend by accident cliche
- The "I've got something for you" gun cliche
- Cliche Infighting
- Random video chat 911 call (This wouldn't work in real life)
Now, I know there are a three more cons than pros. but, I'm giving this a 5 out 5. Unfriended 2 needs to drop a trailer real soon. Just remember, bullying isn't cool. And, payback is a bitch.
And last but not least, the 2016 film Sickhouse.
What can I say about Sickhouse? It's one of the greatest things to come out of 2016. I can't review or do the list for it because it's so new. I will give some info on it though. This was filmed in real time on Snapchat. Director Hannah Macpherson, along with the cast of internet sensation Andrea Russett, really out do themselves with this film. When I first saw anything related to Sickhouse, it was being advertised on Facebook and thought "I'm not going to sign up for a subscription to watch one movie". But when a friend bought it online and sent it to me, I was astounded. This is by far the most original concept yet. It was filmed in April over five days on an iPhone. A damn iPhone. This is truly a piece of art. And even though I had a list for this, I'm not even going to add here. Instead I'm going to do a totally different review for this film. All I have to say is GO WATCH THIS MOVIE! Buy it on the Google Playstore, iTunes, Amazon, and on Demand. This movie deserves a big screen re-release. No one can try and do what these amazing artist have done. Watch it, share it, talk about it. Just do it. It's worth it. 5 out 5 hands down.
Now I did promise five reviews so I'll do the bonus as the fifth.
The father to the social media horror genre, Halloween:Resurrection was filmed in 2002 with the concept of using live stream video as it's base before it was mainstream. The cast includes stars like Tyra Banks, Busta Rhymes, and reprising her role as Michael Myers' sister, Jaime Lee Curtis. Although it is an oldie, it is a goodie. I'm giving it a 4 out 5 without a list, because this is another movie that has been passed upon through the years.
Thanks again for reading everyone. Post your comments at the bottom. Like it, share it, post it. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. My accounts are in my profile. And remember, this is my opinion. I love all of these films in different ways. Now it's your turn to do the same.