Action / Drama / Thriller


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January 18, 2012 at 11:31 AM

550.67 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 37 min
P/S 2 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by chicagopoetry 5 / 10

A Novel Idea But Doesn't Deliver

The concept of Chatroom is a really good idea: five teenagers join an online chatroom and the film portrays their conversations as if they are happening in the real world, in a physical room. I can see, with quite a bit of rewriting, this working as a very engaging stage adaption. However, this film doesn't deliver on the goods. If I could make some decisions here I would have kept the entire film surrealistic, keeping every scene in the virtual world instead of flashing back and forth from the online fantasy into the real world where the kids are typing into their laptops or phones. That would have taken quite a bit of more talent to write, however, as we'd have to stay engaged with a conversation in a My Dinner With Andre sort of way. Also, two of the characters are extremely neglected and their subplots are never carried through to fruition. I also have a hard time believing, even in the virtual world of the internet, that the villain here could actually manipulate everyone so easily without anyone really objecting. It would have been in that objection, in the passion of that debate, that this movie could have found its true energy. But unfortunately it relies too heavily on every parent's paranoid nightmare of the internet leading to suicide or a sexual predator. There are some novel ideas here but unfortunately this film does not realize the potential of those ideas.

Reviewed by theycallmemrglass 7 / 10

Stagey but clever, thought provoking cyberworld teenage drama thriller

Saw this at a London hotel preview screening today.

Top marks for effort in trying to translate internet chat rooms onto the screen. It did take me quite a while to adjust to the visual interpretations of online cyberworld chatting but having said that, it was very cleverly done if a bit stagy. This is not a horror film. Despite the surrealistic online interpretation, this was first and foremost a dark teenage drama that quite effectively highlights the dangerous mental traps that socially withdrawn youngsters can face online in real life. Maybe parents of teenagers who spends all their time on the internet, may well find this to be a horror film and start taking away their kids computers, then push a football into their hands.

Of course this being cinema, liberties need to be taken with plausibility to turn this intriguing drama into a dark thriller. But it works. Its just that it took a heck of a long time to really get going with the main plot. The dialogue also felt very sluggish. The young actors however, were very good and did well to emote their feelings convincingly.

I was very bewildered at the inclusion of a couple of stop motion animated cartoons which I get the impression were supposed to be darkly funny but I did not find it in the least bit amusing. Maybe that was the idea but it served no purpose in the flow of the movie for me. Also, this being a British Film Four production, it feels so, and you wont find any money spent on special effects apart from a change of wallpaper in the chat rooms.

Overall though, this is a very good thought provoking film with decent performances from the young cast. It is an effective thriller but very sluggish until it really picks up momentum in the 3rd act.

Reviewed by BloedEnMelk 7 / 10

Interesting movie shows teen loneliness and the dangers of internet manipulation

It's a rather odd movie, this Chatroom. Most of the story (not all) takes part in cyberspace, which is visualized in an interesting way. The chatroom is not shown through a computer screen with typed text, but as a real room where our characters meet. This gives this movie quite a strange feel, theatrical at points, but it is quite effective.

Will is the guy behind the chatroom. It all starts out fairly innocent but slowly we get drawn into his real intentions. The people who come in his chatroom all have their own issues. They are lonely in real life, traumatized or misunderstood, and in the chatroom they find people who they can tell their stories to. At first this seems to have a healing effect, but slowly we see that all is not what it seems to be.

What this movie shows, IMO, is the loneliness many people face, and also the dangers of using internet for our main communication. Like Will's mum tells him at one point; 'You can not help yourself if you are only talking to strangers. You need to communicate with us.' The plot is not too difficult to figure out and quite predictable, but it's worked out reasonably well and for me, the movie just got under my skin. There is no winner in this movie. I would not name this to be a thriller, but more a psychological drama. The feeling I am most left with is sadness.

Though this movie doesn't come close to the strength Hideo Nakata's 'Ringu' or 'Dark Water' have, and has a whole different feel to it, I do consider it worth watching.

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