The Den (2014)

96) The Den (2014)

A young woman studying the habits of webcam chat 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 as the first victim.

7/10 – I very rarely watch horror films. Not because I don’t want to, but because they all follow the same tried and tested format and I’m tired of them. You know what’s coming as the victim does the opposite of whatever rational thought would be, and it all ends with someone getting out safely to set it up for a sequel and possibly more.

This film interested me because I had recently read an article about a guy who witnessed his girlfriends murder on webcam, and while the trailer doesn’t give much away, both did enough to creep me out and put aside my hatred of the current state of horror films to give this a watch.

I was very surprised at how good this film was. It has room for improvement, but needless to say I was fairly spooked throughout. The film is uniquely shot, shown always from the POV of a desktop screen, laptop camera or phone camera, as we see windows open and closing, flickering between different devices creating this impending lack of control. Starting out with the familiarity of the idiocy of some of the people on the internet, we are lured into this environment in an almost jovial manner only to have the rug pulled from beneath us. Cleverly edited, with a few cheap ‘jumpy’ moments spliced with moments of violence, it doesn’t rely on one type of ‘scare’ to get you. It’s not a constant “He’s behind you” film either. Far from it. It’s not excessive, it’s simple and effective and for all its flaws, the final scene alone made me realise why I used to love horror films.

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