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Featured DVD Review: Cam2Cam

December 14th, 2014

Cam2Cam - Buy from Amazon: DVD

Cam2Cam was originally a 27-minute long short film made in 2008. Adapting short films into feature-length movies is quite common and sometimes the result is excellent. The Oscar-winning Sling Blade started out as a short film, for instance. However, while sometimes the result is award-worthy, this is not the case here. So far there are five reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and all of them are negative. Will I be the dissenting vote? Or is the film as bad as its reviews would indicate?

The Movie

The film begins with a bunch of women nearly getting naked on web cameras and we see some of the people watching them. The first character we meet is Lucy, an American living in Bangkok, Thailand. She gets a message from a woman she has been chatting with. The woman, Emilie, asks for a web chat and Lucy agrees. At first she's having fun, but then she's interrupted by her new neighbor, Russell. After blowing him off, she returns to the chat. However, she realizes that the person in the video can't be the person typing. When she asks what is going on, the conversation quickly turns creepy and then threatening. When her neighbor returns, she invites him in, because she doesn't want to be alone. This turns out to be a mistake and she becomes the third murder victim in the movie.

I say third, because the second murder victim was the tension. The film actually starts out quite well, but after the reveal it takes a nosedive in terms of tension and therefore quality. ... The first victim is the English language. The chat was full of such mangled words it was distracting.

Flash forward one month and we meet another American living in Bangkok, Allie. She arrives at the same place Lucy was living. (This is not an accident, as Allie and Lucy are sisters. Allie came to Bangkok to find out who killed Lucy.) She bumps into Michael, who hopefully will become the next victim, as well as Marit, who is slightly more bearable. Marit takes Allie to her new place and mentions what happened to Lucy. Marit creeps out Allie a little bit, but when Allie nearly falls off the balcony when the railing collapses, Marit saves her and the two become friends. When Marit goes missing, Allie becomes worried. Even learning Russell was found out and killed himself instead of being captured by the police isn't enough to make her feel better.

With the reason for her to be in Bangkok over, Allie prepares to return to America. Before she goes, Michael invites her to coffee. What happens next is too deep into spoiler territory to continue.

The first ten minutes of Cam2Cam managed to set up an interesting premise and it built the tension well. However, the rest of the movie failed to live up to any of its potential. The main problem is a weak script, but this is true of nearly all bad movies. The dialogue is nearly universally bad. The written "internet-speak" is cringe-worthy, but even the spoken dialog fails to come across as natural or real. The acting was mostly average, but I think the blame falls more on the script that the actors. It would be nearly impossible to deliver these lines in a way that didn't sound off. The only person in this movie I remember seeing in something else is Tammin Sursok and I can confirm she was better in Husk than she was here, but the writing in Husk was a lot better as well. The number of twists goes beyond the acceptable level and enter into the self-parody level. This means when the final reveal finally comes, it has no impact, because I stopped caring three twists ago. There were too many red herrings to deal with as well; too many potentially interesting elements that were brought up but had no impact on the script. It is just a waste. I can't go into too many details here, but the big one is the website. A serial killer that uses a cam-2-cam site to lure victims is an interesting idea, but while it is used in the setup, the payoff just isn't there.

Now to get to the elephant in the room... nudity. You can't make a movie about internet sex shows and not expect critics to talk about the amount of nudity in the movie. There's almost none. Maybe I'm jaded, but I would be shocked if this film got even an R-rating. If you are looking for a Boobs and Blood movie or a Sexploitation film, then you will likely be very disappointed.

The Extras

The only extra on the DVD is an audio commentary track, which is in the setup menu.

The Verdict

Cam2Cam is based on a 27-minute long short and I'm willing to bet it worked a whole lot better in that format. Trying to stretch the story out to 90 minutes resulted in a plot with too many elements that went nowhere. Worse still, the writing was clunking and the acting was subpar. The DVD doesn't have enough extras to be worth renting.

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Filed under: Video Review, Jade Tailor, Tammin Sursok, Ben Wiggins, Sarah Bonrepaux, Russell Geoffrey Banks