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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Movie Review: The Den

Do you believe everything you see online? In March 2013,  Elizabeth saw something she wished she hadn't.

Directing this 81 minute horror/thriller is Zachary Donohue.

Telling this online story is: Melanie Papalia as Elizabeth Benton, David Schlachtenhaufen, as Damien, Lily Holleman as Jenny, Matt Riedy as Sgt. Tisbert, Aaron Pressburg as Burlap Man 1 and Kyle Williams as Burlap Man 2.

Elizabeth wants to do a graduate thesis on social media. Her plan, to join a social network site called the Den, and record her interactions with everyone she talks with. Unfortunately, not everyone online is there to talk and get to know each other. Some people use it as an outlet to pull pranks, be rude and even... kill
people. Something Elizabeth is all too aware of now. Problem is, did she really see what she thought she did? Or was it all just some sick prank to shock any poor soul that happened across their path?

I stumbled across this one on Netflix as a late night kill time flick. The description sounded pretty good so I figured why not. As it turns out, what was supposed to be background noise wound up grabbing my attention and holding it all the way through.

Writers Zachary Donohue and Lauren Thompson came up with a good storyline. Nothing new, mind you, but definitely a good one. Then again, I'm a fan of the whole social media used against you as a horror story. It takes a mix between a solid script, cast and effects to pull off an enjoyable flick about this kind of story. All things this one has and used them well.

The playthrough was entertaining, and the pace, once it finally takes off, continues to keep things moving pretty fast. I was surprised because a few of the scenes actually made me jump, which is a rare thing. Nothing in the film is really ghost scary, the horror tag comes from the slasher aspect of the story. 
                                                     

Now, the flick has a pretty small cast that all did good, but I thought Papalia stood out with her role as the lead character and really sold her scenes.

Between the work done by George Troester's special effects and Perry Kroll's visual effects everything looked good. The flick is found footage style, so everything we see is from Elizabeth's computer interactions etc. I'm not a fan of the shaky camera thing, but I thought Bernard Hunt did a killer job on the cinematography. 

Overall, it's an old story, but has a good playthrough. So if you're looking for a flick to kill some time with then this one worth catching. Side note, when this movie was released in Russia (12/23/2013), it's name was Death Online. Different places, different names - is why it's hard to track down a movie sometimes.

It's rated R violence and language.

3 stars


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