Film, Horror, Reviews

DASHCAM is the gonzo found footage horror satire to end them all (Film Review)

Anyone who saw Host during lockdown will have been damn excited to see DASHCAM.

Rob Savage exploded onto the horror movie scene with his hour long, super low budget but highly effective slice of Zoom-based terror which dropped right at the apex of Covid-19 paranoia and fear, mid-2020, as the world watched, waited and worried. Host was ragged around the edges but enormously creepy and played a set of new beats on the now well played tune that is found footage horror. It brought that fear into not just the computer screen but the home in an even more acute way than Unfriended or Friend Request etc… films with a bigger budget playing with that intersection between the online and the unfathomable.

DASHCAM is an altogether different beast. Though deliberately still lo-fi, Savage is graced with a bolstered budget thanks to a three picture deal with modern horror maestro production house Blumhouse and a transatlantic approach and appeal, not to mention a fusion of fiction and hyper-reality. Fronted by Annie Hardy, playing a firebrand version of herself—albeit not too dissimilar by all accounts to her actual persona—DASHCAM feels less about trying to scare and designed more to throw audiences into a frenzied world of relentless chaos, in which technology allows voyeuristic patrons the chance to watch true carnage unfold in real time.

To his credit, Savage doesn’t try and repeat the trick of Host with DASHCAM. He just decides to go completely off the leash.

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Film, Writing

Some NERVE: Social Media and Modern Cinematic Voyeurism

Social media has taken control of the world. Almost all of us have a smartphone and we’re wired into either Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc… or all of them. The open communication of the internet has made us desperate for ultimate, constant connectivity. It’s an idea that across this decade, as social media has fully taken hold over Western society, the movies have begun exploring.

Inevitably, and perhaps appropriately, cinema has largely taken social media to be a new and dangerous playground. Much as the technology is used by people of all ages (yes, even some of the elderly), apps, games and innovations remain primarily the province of the young and impressionable. Social media is attractive, not just for the fact you can build a virtual profile that presents a picture of who you would like the world to *believe* you are, but it provides a gateway to thrills and social taboos. Hence why adults are consistently reminded, and parents are scaremongered, into believing social media is a corrupting evil that will warp and destroy the minds of our children.

Filmmakers on the whole don’t quite see it that way. Many seem to consider social media to be one enormous, conceptual cautionary tale, sometimes fused a with futuristic morality play. An entire sub-genre now exists of pictures often starring, and certainly aimed at, the young, but to classify them specifically as horror films—as some have—does them a slight disservice. Those directors and writers who are interested in the pervasive effect social media has on our lives seem more keen to portray the internet, and all its myriad labryinthian contexts, as something that will only destroy us if we misuse it or refuse to pay it enough respect.
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