Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: The Den

When horror works, it's a commentary on our times, not a random selection of torture porn scenes. Sure, there can be gore and shorts shitting moments, but the best genre flicks have something to say about the world we live in at the time they're made.

So how does a horror movie about social media reflect our modern society? Does The Den have something to say? Stick with me.

A young woman studying the habits of webcam users from the apparent safety of her apartment witnesses a brutal murder online and is quickly immersed in a nightmare in which she and her loved ones are targeted for the same grisly fate.

The Den is a movie I put on after a night at the pub and expected to fall asleep to within minutes. Surprise! I was still awake as the credits rolled some 90 minutes later. That says something about Zachary Donohue's directorial debut.

Is The Den a modern classic? No. But it does have something to say about our fascination with social media and peering into the business of others. Things start off innocently enough, then shit starts to happen, Donohue ratchets up the tension . . . and I was hooked. Well played, Donohue. Well played.

This isn't a found-footage flick either, although everything is shot with webcams. I thought the medium would be limiting but, once I figured out what was going on, the format worked in The Den's favour and added to the suspense.

Kudos too to Melanie Papalia. Not only is she good looking, but her heroine is more than just a damsel in distress. She's a tough cookie, and holds her own against the threat.

I liked The Den a lot and recommend it to Basementites hot for something different. A Good, and worth staying up after midnight for.

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