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Fantasia 2018 Review: “Cam” (2018) ★★★★★


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© Blumhouse Productions

In the age of internet, anyone’s identity can be stolen, sold or even destroyed by some type of scandal. The recent scandal comprising Facebook and Cambridge Data Analytics is a chilling proof to that. But that, of course, was something not under our control. How would we know who does what behind our back? Produced by Blumhouse, “Cam” follows online sex workers who do everything in their power to satisfy any male user, or maybe, a female one online, to get rewarded with tokens which translates into big money. Every action they take is purely their own choice. But what happens if everything they worked hard for is stolen by a secret and unidentified person? Oh trust me, that’s not something any of us would ever want to experience in real life…

Alice (Madeline Brewer), who’s online nickname is Lola_Lola, ensures her true self and the one she created for her online show is strictly separated. Performing a number of insane stunts, the young woman keeps getting closer to achieving her goal of getting into TOP 50 of an online show performed on freegirls.live. As she gets more confident in her own ability, one day, when she is again getting ready for work, she’s unable to log into her online account. But that was the least of her problems as there’s someone else at the very same moment performing a live show pretending to be her. Neither the Police nor the Customer Support of FGL help her which is when she decides to take the matter in her own hands.

The opening scene of “Cam” convincingly transports the viewer from a fictional world to real life, making every experience as real as possible. And it was, as a real life horror. Lola, aka Alice, standing in front of camera talks to her fans online, fulfilling their wishes as much as she can. Then, all of a sudden, a mysterious person starts asking for something unreal – he wants her to use a knife, preferably cutting herself. At first, she of course refuses to do so, but begins getting more worried about losing her tokens when all other users start asking for the same. So she’s left with no choice but to take a knife and cut her own throat. As she continues bleeding live, her fans are ecstatic; they can hardly believe what she’s just done. But of course it all was just a stunt. But the real horror and a hunt for her own identity begins when she gets the message – Your ID is locked out.

A story by Daniel Goldhaber, Isabelle Link-Levy, and Isa Mazzei who also wrote the script and directed by Daniel Goldhaber, “Cam” provides the view of a rising star in the cam world whose work and perhaps life is in threat due to her account being taken by a look-alike. Shot realistically, the film unlike many many others will give you goosebumps right from the start till the end. At some point if you feel you want to run away from the screening, there’s nothing to worry about – that means you’re so into the film that everything you face before your eyes turn into a real-life experience. And that’s the whole point of the film – to have a glimps at a life that perhaps someone else is part of right now.

As for the performance, Madeline Brewer’s absolutely chilling and terrifyingly convincing performance will get under your skin. Through her performance, she leaves all the hesitation behind and as a result of it, is an absolutely worthwhile portrayal to be seen.

In conclusion, there’s also an interesting point the film has – for instance, why some people are looking for interactive sexual experiences online rather than having one in real life. Probably it’s cool and sexy but it really is not. How much do we know about the girls that stand before the camera, get naked, talk and do insane things just to earn some money. And how many more are becoming obsessed with the interactive online world more than being attracted to the real one?

The danger this concept brings is that we must be careful with what we are doing, and perhaps anything that is being done online should never interfere with our real life. Fun is fun, life is life. It’s up to you, me and everyone to decide what is more important. It’s your choice to think about it and of course, “Cam” will give you plenty of opportunities to analyze every step of that.

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