Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
uwantme2killhim: Kids Like to Chat
2003, a sixteen year-old kid from Manchester should have been on Friendster.
Instead, Mark is getting touchy feely in an anonymous chat-room. That always leads to bad things in the movies
and this based-on-a-true-story teen angst-thriller is no exception. Once again,
the internet apparently turns a clean-cut popular kid into a killer in Andrew
Douglas’s awkwardly titled uwantme2killhim?
by Bryan “X-Men” Singer, which opens this Friday in Los Angeles.
the shaggy-haired jock, pretty much has his pick of the girls at school, while
John basically serves as the campus punching bag. However, Mark agrees to take John
under his wing when he discovers he is the younger brother of Rachel, his
online girlfriend. He has never met her face to face because she and her
abusive boyfriend, Kevin McNeil are in the witness protection program, which
makes perfect sense to Mark.
webcams were not such a common accessory at the time, Mark falls for her solely
on the basis of her photo and her sub-literate chat dialogue. Unfortunately,
when the thuggish McNeil kills Rachel out of jealousy, it thoroughly
destabilizes Mark, leaving him susceptible to the ominous offers of the MI-5
agent supposedly monitoring McNeil.
you are probably already smelling a rat and you will not be not far wrong if
you can think of a tasty fish they like to fry up in Louisiana. The only real questions
are who is playing Mark and why? Mike Walden’s dramatic adaptation of Judy
Bachrach’s Vanity Fair article does
its best to pepper red herrings throughout, but the in media res structure does
not help to build any real suspense.
is rather compelling to watch Jamie Blackley transform Mark from a big man on
campus to an anti-social head case. However, Douglas (best known for helming
the Amityville Horror remake) is not
able to convincingly convey the sort of slow frogs-boiling-water process
necessary to undermine his previously well-adjusted psyche. Uwantetc also boasts an intriguing
supporting cast, including Downton Abbey’s
Joanne Froggart (Lady Mary’s maid, Anna) as DI Sarah Clayton and Jaime
Winstone as Rachel, but it never gives them much to do.
When was the last time the internet served as an
agent of progress on film? Clearly, the movie business is still holding a
grudge for all the business presumably lost to file-sharers. Despite the not so
shocking plot twists, the character’s psychological dynamics are still
provocative and ultimately rather sad and disturbing. Unfortunately, Douglas
and Walden were apparently determined to maximize the film’s timeliness with their
compulsive attention to British surveillance practices. Yet, the events of the
film could ironically support even more extensive and pervasive online
monitoring policies. An earnest misfire, uwantme2killhim?
opens this Friday (3/14) in Los Angeles at the Laemmle NoHo 7.
Labels: British Cinema