Cam (Daniel Goldhaber, 2018): USA

Reviewed by Jordan Barr, Viewed at AFI Film Festival 2018

Cam is a standout among the new genre of psychological thrillers addressing the dangers of the digital age. It follows the life of Alice, played by Madeline Brewer, a twenty-something online sex worker who preforms webcam shows under the alias Lola. Alice has a quirky, relatable persona in her shows but offline we see her dark, obsessive side. She wants to be the number one performer on the website and will go to almost any length to reach it. When her webcam show and identity is stolen by a mysterious force, she fights viciously to regain control. 

Written by former sex worker, Isa Mazzei, Cam gives an honest and realistic view into the lives of these women while neither glamorizing nor condemning this line of work. It exposes the public’s lack of regard for the struggles of sex workers but fights back against these stigmas with feminist and sex positive themes. Alice is neglected by the police, her friends, and her family but she refuses to remain helpless and handles things on her own.   

The cinematography was on par with the modern age, including shots through a computer screen in a way that’s not distracting.  Katelin Arizmendi allowed viewers to feel like they were a part of the film by including footage from Lola’s live show from a voyeuristic perspective.  

Similar to Black Mirror, Cam uses the thought provoking, unnerving power of technology to leave viewers questioning the nature of our society.   Beautifully shot, fast paced and engaging, this film had me on the edge of my seat.  This film was recently released on Netflix and I would highly recommend it.

About this entry