Cyberspace is an amazing place. You can be anyone, say anything, and no one can call your bluff or more importantly break your face. Most of the time that is, and the saying anything, doing anything kick isn’t going to last much longer if Big Brother has it’s way. Then we’ll just be bidding on the same grey, unflattering clothes on a government website while looking at pictures of censored Lol Cats and downloading God Save the Queen (and I’m talking about the acceptable Sex Pistols version either) and The Bible from Amazon for our googling sins.
My point being that keyboard warriors, or douchebags, as we would call them in the real world wield some pretty hefty weapons, if you show up on their radar, you’re vulnerable to suggestion, or your password is ‘PASSWORD123’ for most of your internet accounts because you were pulling a Ferris Bueller during Internet Security for Dummies 101. The web is a scary place if you don’t know what you should be avoiding, or more importantly, who. Oh sure that 30 year old guy from L.A you’ve been chatting to on chattylonelyfolk.org seems nice, and the wife beater he’s sporting in his profile picture really shows off his once fashionable, tribal tattoos, but how do you know that he isn’t a lardy 65 year old serial killer who just happens to live down your street, using a stolen picture from Myspace (may she rest in peace.)?
The world be full of weirdos, and they all have wi-fi and mad IT skills these days apparently.
This is the story of five young individuals, all struggling with their own demons who begin meeting in the innocuously named Chelsea Teens chatroom. The conversations that occur are set up in a real world rooms, and Hideo Nakata manages to create a scarily realistic depiction of the pseudo intimacy felt by online participants in these virtual relationships, while slowing pushing the viewer towards the extremities of the dangers that can occur when you develop emotional connections with complete strangers.
Visually stunning and hypnotically beautiful, Chatroom dances between quirky surrealism and gritty, torrid realities of the human condition, with charmingly acerbic animations interspersed with excellent, caustic scripting, performed magnificently by a stellar cast of young actors. There are some questions about the fact it was marketed as a horror film, but I genuinely think that a film with such pace and suspense, not to mention downright nastiness, cannot be anything but horrible, but in the very best possible way.