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Chatroom (2010)

5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 6,254 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 61 critic

A group of teenagers encourage each other's bad behavior in a chatroom "Chelsea Teens!".

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Title: Chatroom (2010)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
William (as Aaron Johnson)
...
Eva
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Jim
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Emily
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Mo
...
Grace
...
...
Paul
Jacob Anderson ...
Si
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Candy
...
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Matthew Ashforde ...
Jim's Father
...
Emily's Mother
...
Police Constable
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Storyline

A group of teenagers encourage each other's bad behavior in a chatroom "Chelsea Teens!".

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Control. Alter. Delete.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content, some sexual material and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 December 2010 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Chat room  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While the film advertises "from the director of The Ring" director Hideo Nakata was, in fact, the director of the original Japanese film Ringu (1998) to which would inspire the American remake The Ring (2003) by American director Gore Verbinski. Nakata however would return to direct the American sequel The Ring Two (2005) See more »

Quotes

Eva: Come on! Come on, get personal. Who is it? Who does Jim hate?
Jim: Me.
Mo: Really Jim?
Eva: You hate yourself... So what?
Emily: D'you have an okay family life?
Jim: [Nods] Yeah. Yeah. I don't have a father. But my mum is really nice.
Eva: So you hate yourself, because?
Jim: I've been on anti-depressants for two years.
Emily: And... Do they help? Do you know if they're helping?
Jim: I don't know... Maybe...
[...]
See more »

Soundtracks

Energy and Movement
Composed by Keith Mansfield
Master Recording courtesy of KPM Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This should have been better
24 July 2012 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

A group of jaded teenagers meet online in an internet chatroom called Chelsea Teens! The group led by William a clever and manipulative adolescent, form a quick and tight bond via sharing their most intimate secrets with each other. However as they bond tighter together it is apparent some members of the chatroom have more sinister agendas.

Director Hideo Nakata is best well known for Ringu, a chilling tale of a mysterious video which kills anyone who watches it, was in many ways the catalyst for Hollywood remaking Japanese horror. Ringu was remade as The Ring, with Naomi Watts, quickly followed by Ju-on, remade as The Grudge starring Buffy. In both cases the Hollywood remake is not a patch on the original. And this is what Chatroom feels like, a cheap and rushed Hollywood remake. However this time there is no precursor.

Let's start with the good stuff though. At the heart of Chatroom there is an interesting and potentially compelling premise. The internet is the one place which offers true anonymity and Nakata portrays this via an innovative physical visualisation of the online world, focusing on the chatroom arena. You watch the characters make their way down long corridors filled with stereotypical internet users deep in conversation with each other. You see couples getting busy who clearly don't match the physical description they are giving each other, alongside the more sinister picture of grown adults talking with young children.

Along the corridors there are a number of different doors, each the gateway into a different chatroom. Once inside Nakata films the interactions as physical encounters, with each character sat on a chair facing the others, in something akin to a group counseling session. The occasional flashbacks to the users sat at their computers keeps us grounded in the real world and works well in demonstrating how some characters, but not all, portray themselves in a very different light online.

However this interesting premise is let down by a poorly constructed script and distinct lack of character development. The dialogue between the group at their first encounter feels incredibly forced and the ease with which William (Aaron Johnson - post Kick Ass) leads the group into sharing their most intimate secrets is far too rushed. The secrets which each member chooses to share are clichéd at best and ill thought through and borderline offensive at worst.

In a film with effectively only 5 characters there should be enough scope within the script to bring each character to a satisfying conclusion. Unfortunately this is not the case here, with the film quickly focusing on the relationship between William and Jim (Matthew Beard) so leaving the other three characters floating in the wind. There is simply no effort made to resolve their sub plots and all three feel significantly short changed.

I was left sorely disappointed by Chatroom. Through its clichéd characters and lack plot development you are left with what feels like a hollow shell of a film. You have to give it credit for attempting to deal with the dangers associated with the internet such as sexual predators and teen suicide, but it does so in such a clumsy and misjudged manner that whatever message it is trying to portray is simply lost.

With a director with the pedigree of Nakata and a premise of real potential this should have been better. In fact it needs remake.


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