'Cam2Cam': Film Review

Courtesy of IFC
You'll want to log off after the opening scene

A young woman becomes embroiled in murderous trouble thanks to a shady, Bangkok-based video chat room

There's no doubt that logging onto a video chat room is an invitation for creepiness, something that Joel Soisson's horror film Cam2Cam is all too eager to exploit. Unfortunately, this effort from the director of sequels to The Prophecy and Children of the Corn squanders its potentially rich if hardly underexposed technology-themed premise with a tired, twist-filled mystery plot involving mostly uninteresting characters. A computer virus is far scarier.

It begins promisingly, however, with an extended opening sequence that at least briefly will have viewers on the edge of their seats. Lucy (Jade Tailor), a young American woman staying in Bangkok—a city that is cinematic shorthand for depravity — logs onto to the titular website late at night and begins a flirtatious conversation with a woman, seen only from the neck down, who promptly begins taking off her clothes. It's several minutes into the vowel-deprived chat before our clueless heroine realizes that her correspondent couldn't possibly be typing and stripping at the same time. The resultant angry exchange, illustrating the essential ickiness of computer icons, scares Lucy to the point where she invites a nosy neighbor (Russell Geoffrey Banks) into her apartment. Not a good move.

It's all downhill from there, as the story shifts focus to another American, Allie (Tammin Sursok of Pretty Little Liars), who moves into the victim's boardinghouse for reasons which won't be revealed here. There she meets beautiful French lesbian Marit (Sarah Bonrepaux) and intense Brit Michael (Ben Wiggins), who both immediately begin vying for her affections. The labyrinthine plotline begins spinning in circles while the body count rises, and Allie at one points finds herself striding down a busy street bloodied and wielding an axe.

It's all largely incoherent, with the screenplay's twists and surprise revelations having an utterly artificial feel. Director Soisson, who so adeptly staged the galvanizing opening scene, becomes further and further adrift in terms of navigating the preposterous storyline.

The lead performers are mainly notable for their supple, toned bodies, which are frequently revealed in various states of undress. Besides its scary depiction of Bangkok as a city where you can literally have your head handed to you, Cam2Cam is ultimately not nearly as frightening as a typical session on Chatroulette.

Director/screenwriter: Joel Soisson
Producers: Raimund Huber, Aki Komine
Executive producer: Chariyawan Tavoranon
Editor: Philip Mangano
Composer: Elia Cmiral
Rated R, 91 min.
 

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