by Curtis L. Isom – Founder / Editor-In-Chief
If you have Netflix and want to see a great thriller, I highly suggest to you the movie “Cam”.
Starring Madeline Brewer, this paranoid horror thriller is set in the world of camming. In reviewing “Cam”, I’m just going to touch on some highlights of the movie without giving away too much, After seeing “Cam” the first time, I had to watch it again and write a review.
First, for those of you not familiar with camming, it’s where someone signs up with a camming website and uses their webcam to create a room/channel to interact with those who visit that room/channel. Visitors can tip their cam model with purchased tokens and tipping enough usually gets you a private one-on-one session with that cam model. The goal of most cam models is to make as much money as possible and become as popular as possible on their respective website.
“Cam” is the story of Alice Ackerman (Brewer) who cams under the name, “lola_lola”. Like any cam model, Alice’s goal is to make “lola_lola” as popular as possible and work her way to the top of the site “FreegirlsLive”. Alice’s creativity is displayed in the opening sequence of “Cam”, which also sets one of the underlining themes for the movie.
Outside her camming world, only Alice’s brother knows what she does. She keeps her mother in the dark about her camming waiting for when she makes it as close to the top. When Alice does makes one of her goals, she immediately begins to slide back down. To regain her upward climb, her friend and fellow cam model Fox asks Alice to join her at the “Camgirl Clubhouse” for something very different. This helps Alice not only regain her lost momentum, but gain some more.
Then things go sideways.
The next time Alice tries logging into her “Lola” account, she can’t, and finds her channel is occupied by someone who looks and sounds EXACTLY like her and is even going by “lola_lola”. Calling FreegirlsLive’s Tech Support goes nowhere. Thinking the site is playing one of her old shows, Alice logs in as a visitor only to find she can actually interact with the imposter. This interaction apparently has consequences in Alice’s life as things start spiraling out of control. Her mom, along with numerous other people, find out Alice is a cam model. The police are indifferent to Alice’s “identity theft” plight so she turns to a couple of her followers for help with almost disastrous results. Alice’s smarts help her survive both encounters as well as gaining some unexpected, but much needed, information. Alice then crafts a plan to gain back her life and sanity.
During all of this, the “lola_lola” imposter, has worked her way into the Top 25 rankings on the FreegirlsLive site. This includes doing a violent variation of one of Alice’s previous shows. Alice’s final confrontation with the imposter comes down to a winner-takes-all game of “monkey see, monkey do”. Paying attention at this point in the film is crucial because if you’re not, you’ll probably have unanswered questions. If you’re lost during the game, don’t rewind. I suggest you wait till after the game ends, then go back and watch the game again.
So who wins, Alice or her imposter? I hate it when reviewers basically tell you how a movie ends so you’ll have to see “Cam” to find out. I promise it’ll be worth your time. I found “Cam” keeps your interest from the very start.
In 2018, CAM was an award winner. At the Fantasia Film Festival, it won Best Screenplay & Best First Feature. At the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, it won Best Actress (Brewer) – Head Trip Competition & Best Production Design – Head Trip Competition for Emma Rose Mead. Bravo to everyone.
In closing, IMDb gave “Cam” a 6.0 rating. I personally think whoever rated it didn’t understand the movie. From an actor’s point of view, I found the film had a cast of solid actors lead by Madeline Brewer. Brewer gives an intense performance drawing you into her world, especially when dealing with her “twin” and it’s effects on her sanity. From a director’s stance, Daniel Goldhaber’s director of Isa Mazzei’s screenplay is beautiful. Even though set in the world of camming, nudity and violence are used sparingly and when only needed, leaving the characters to drive this film. For these reasons, I give “Cam” a 8.0 because it’s becoming harder and harder to find intelligent horror films. And for one set in an ever expanding part of the Adult Entertainment Industry, “Cam” is not only smart, but may make you look at some things in a different light.
Till next time………..
Image from “Cam” movie courtesy of Imdb.com)