Cam – Good, Bad & Ugly Review

Alice, an ambitious camgirl, wakes up one day to discover she’s been replaced on her show with an exact replica of herself. – (Source)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 93% (Critics) / 58% (Audience)
MetaScore: 71 – Generally favorable reviews
Directed By: Daniel Goldhaber
Written By: Isa Mazzei and Daniel Goldhaber
Starring: Madeline Brewer, Patch Darragh, Melora Walters
Studio: Blumhouse Productions

The Good:
When CAM focuses on the two opposing portions of camgirl Alice’s severely compartmentalized life it is incredibly engrossing to watch. Alice’s unhealthy focus on achieving top rated status as a camgirl is fascinating especially with the lengths she is shown to be willing to go through in order to up her follower count while amassing tokens (the currency of the camgirl world) in exchange for exposing more of herself to her viewing public. And when you introduce the strained relationship Alice has with her mother that requires her to lie about just what she does to pay her bills the movie really works.

Madeline Brewer brings a wholesome “girl next door” aesthetic to Alice and you can believe that she’d be successful playing off of the fetishistic desires of men to see that “girl next door” being sexualized. And when things take a turn for the weird, Brewer conveys all the confusion and desperation that one would expect to see in a situation like the one she finds herself in.

The Bad:
This movie was great when just focusing on Alice as a camgirl and all the complications that came with that specific chosen profession (especially when it came to online fans trying to get too close to her in the real world) but once it took the turn into the supernatural things kinda went downhill. Early on into the doppelganger camgirl situation I was intrigued but that quickly turned to apathy, then boredom and finally annoyance. If the movie had just stayed as a dramatic character study of the dangers of living one’s life obsessed with being filmed and liked/validated by strangers it would have been a much better viewing experience.

The Ugly:
The folks behind this movie had no idea how to explain what was going on in this movie and in the end they just punted it away with a really blah resolution to what started off as being an intriguing mystery. And worst of all it was apparent while Alice was trying to figure out how her life was being duplicated that no one involved behind the scenes of this film had a clue so the ending being so weak wasn’t even a surprise.

Final Verdict: An intriguing premise that unfortunately tried to insert an undercooked and hackneyed supernatural/techno twist onto a movie that would have been just fine without it. There is a good movie here about a young woman falling apart while chasing online fame and status and I wish everything else had been stripped away to just give viewers that story.

Grade: C

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