Friday, October 24, 2014

The Den


(2013) ***1/2

Emily, a confident, spunky, young college student, (miraculously) receives a grant to study the internet habits of video-chat users using a website called “The Den”, an online chat website that pairs random people from around the world together for webcam-based conversations. Emily’s “research” involves sitting around her house and surfing the website to see what random strangers are doing. Along the way she finds the usual nonsense one finds on the internet including Nigerian scammers, sexual proposition, and people just acting stupid. This is all mildly amusing until Emily stumbles upon a woman being murdered. The police do not believe her and a friend who is a computer expert is unable to locate the user’s position. Unbeknownst to Emily her computer account has been repeatedly hacked and at times someone pretending to be her interacts with her friends. Soon her boyfriend disappears and again the police are no help. Later one of her friends receives a message from Emily to come over although Emily did not send the message. Her friend disappears. Emily becomes frantic when she receives a message showing a shadowy figure entering her sister’s house. Efforts to warn her sister fail and her sister disappears. Soon Emily’s computer reveals that her assailant is in her house…




The Den is the modern version of Rear Window. In the era of Skype it is very easy to believe that sooner or later someone is going to witness something nefarious. Because the film is largely told through Emily’s iMac computer screen I became confused several times because I watched this movie on my iMac, which added an extra layer of realism/voyeurism. The Den drives home the point that the online landscape is full of nonsense but also dangerous people. The internet is a portal to bad things and our pursuit to be entertained comes with very real consequences. Bleak and nihilistic, The Den is worth checking out.

7 comments:

Mr. AC said...

Great review, JPX. This sounds right up my alley, and a great way to wash the bad taste of V/H/S: Viral out of my mouth.

JPX said...

You'd love it Mr. AC, for the computer stuff alone. Did you ever notice how everyone's computers in movies are lightening quick when the "click" on anything? A more realistic movie would show that damn spinning pinwheel that fills me with murderous rage!

Catfreeek said...

I've had this in my queue for awhile glad to hear it's worth a watch.

AC said...

sounds great but not sure about the biddy rating here.

JPX said...

Oh this one is biddy friendly, AC!

Octopunk said...

That's hilarious that you watched this on your Mac. Actually, I think that means the sequel will be about you.

DCD said...

Ha, Octo! I like the sound of this one as well.