Review: Cam2Cam is an Unfocused Video Chat

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Cam2Cam-final-posterfile_176983_0_shock-score-5.90x72The world of online dating is a bizarre concept all its own. It’s a world where we openly expose our most personal selves to absolute strangers. As if that isn’t frightening enough, what if you were in a foreign country with very little personal contact? This is the set-up of Cam2Cam, a new thriller by director Joel Soisson set against the backdrop of Thailand’s video sex chat community.

The film opens with “Monkeybait” aka Lucy, as she sits down for some personal time with her web cam. She has been talking with a woman regularly and is excited to see what tonight has in store. As she gets into her video date, she realizes something is wrong. After catching her chat partner in a lie, things go horribly wrong. I won’t spoil it, but there is a hatchet carrying killer on the loose.

Enter Allie (Tammin Sursok), another American seeking a room at the same run down building a month later. She is greeted by a host of twenty-somethings outside including cocky Brit Michael (Ben Wiggins) and super friendly Marit (Sarah Bonrepaux). After Marit helps her secure the same apartment as the murdered girl from the opening sequence, the two head off into town for some fun. Well, it isn’t long before they run into Lucy’s hatchet wielding killer, played by Russell Geoffrey Banks. To go any further is pointless as the film heads in every different direction possible, but it really just spins in circles. All focus is lost and the film never really comes back together.

The biggest problem with the is that it straddles the middle without committing to any one genre. The flesh is fleeting at best for a film about sex cams and the like. For all the decadence that is spoken of, most of the actors come off as prudish. There is a lack of sexuality in the film with the exception of Sarah Bonrepaux, who burns up the screen every minute she is on it. This would be great if she was the star, but she is not. None of the other acting is bad, just unengaging.

Another problem is for the slasher it wants to be, there is very little slashing and even less visual payoff. The camera loves the walls but hates the action when it comes to kills. More blood splatters there than anywhere else. It is effective for the opening scene but leaves a lot to be desired after that point. The script is hampered by a lack of conviction and that in turn I believe hurts the actor’s performances. Our initial stalker/killer is so mean spirited that the film loses almost all entertainment. I know that may sound odd but it’s the difference between watching Jason kill in Friday the 13th and watching I Spit on your Grave.

All in all, Cam2Cam is a film that really misses the mark on all fronts. There just isn’t much to recommend outside of the opening scene with Jade Tailor as Lucy and Sarah Bonrepaux’s performance as Marit. It is hard to say what happened, but original short director Davy Sihali is credited as a guest director. It’s possible that he left the project due to creative differences sometime during the shoot. There are hints of his ideas throughout the film but this is just speculation. There are things in the film worth seeing but other than what I mentioned; Cam2Cam plays more like an exercise in what can go wrong when you attempt to reinterpret a short as a feature.

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Weekend: Oct. 18, 2018, Oct. 21, 2018

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