STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning
A film depicting the apparently true life story of Mark (Jaime Blackley) a popular, charismatic boy at school with an equally popular social life on the internet, who is asked by online friend Rachel (Jaime Winstone) to take her socially awkward brother John (Toby Regbo) under his wing. Mark finds himself explaining this in flashback to DI Clayton (Joanne Froggatt), whilst he has been placed under arrest for John's attempted murder, only to go on and explain the events leading up to this, which unravel an increasingly warped, deranged tale of fantasy and reality becoming horribly blurred.
This indeed dramatises events that occurred during 2003 in a suburban area of London. I remember a TV drama from some years ago about something similar that happened in Manchester, or maybe they've just swapped locations. Andrew Douglas, the man behind the Amytiville Horror remake, presents us this story that is a bewildering fact is stranger than fiction case whichever way you look at it, but has more relevance and believability in this day and age, where it sometimes feels like the internet basically controls everything. This in turn makes it all the more chilling, and makes you wonder just what dangers unfettered chat rooms could pose in future.
The film benefits from an unknown but solid and dynamic young cast, chiefly Blackley, who bears a striking resemblance to a younger Russell Brand, fitting in his role as the eloquent, dynamic young man, forming an odd double act with Regbo as his needy cohort. It's a small scale effort, and the constraints sometimes show through, but it tells it's baffling story with aplomb and has a solid young cast to carry it through. ***
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