From the producers of SAW, VLOG is a groundbreaking extreme-horror film about a real-life webcam girl whose online murder is not what it seems.

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Brooke Marks ...
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Jasmine
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From the producers of SAW, VLOG is a groundbreaking extreme-horror film about a real-life webcam girl whose online murder is not what it seems.

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24 October 2008 (USA)  »

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Explicit but intelligent low budget slasher
20 May 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Vlogger Brooke Marks (played by Brooke Marks) posts the shallow events of her vapid lifestyle for internet voyeurs to enjoy, the majority of her posts centering around her love life with a succession of boyfriends. After receiving a mysterious recording directing her to a website, Brooke witnesses a series of video clips showing her friends being murdered. Naturally, Brooke fears for her life and goes to the cops.

Previous reviewers have complained that the character of Brooke is vapid and vacuous and, therefore, unlikeable. Those reviewers, I feel, have missed an important point. Vlog is a movie about voyeurism and is subject driven rather than character driven. We are meant to find Brooke distasteful. Her dismissive arrogance, particularly around men, is repugnant, particularly if you're a man. And yet there is a commentary here on the nature of the modern male and, when we see it from a female point of view, the portrayal is not complimentary.

When Brooke undertakes an experiment in a bar, using her cleavage and nothing else to secure a sexual partner before he even has a chance to get to know her, we see how Brooke finds herself objectified and somewhat mystified in the process. Undoubtedly she knows how to use her voluptuous charms to get what she wants (her opening gambit is delivered in nothing but bra and panties) but she lacks any real understanding as to why men find her so irresistible.

Men are a mystery to Brooke. Her amusing observations about men creating fake accounts as females on social networking sites then proclaiming to be lesbian in order to engage in cybersex with one another is wry, but telling. While Brooke recognises that she desires the opposite sex, men are ugly to her and their behaviour worthy of contempt, though her contempt comes with a perplexed smile.

This is the crux of Vlog, and there are some neat tricks employed to drive the point home. The gore is actually contextually appropriate for once. We, the audience, are drawn into the theme by finding ourselves witness to some extremely brutal and explicit gore. Did you come here for the blood and guts and shots of Brooke scantily dressed? If so, stay for the subtext. You are now the kind of voyeur Brooke finds so compelling. You mystify her, and yet she needs you somehow. The relationship between Brooke and her audience is dysfunctional at its root and this, of course, is the reason she eventually finds herself in deep trouble.

Unfortunately, production values are fairly low and too much is made of the final twist, which you'll see coming a mile off. The twist is also unnecessary in my view and doesn't particularly add to the movie, nor adequately answer the questions it raises. That said, overall I enjoyed this production (though I had to cover my eyes at points - gore isn't really my bag).


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