CHAT, directed by Brad M. Johnson and written by Kim Hornsby is a short psychological thriller about a woman who meets a man online and, through the course of their flirtation, what initially seems like innocent conversations, suddenly become more sinister.
The thing about CHAT that makes it such an intense film to watch is just how plausible the story is. Living in a world where many people, especially those that are vulnerable (whether by circumstance, or by life choices being thrust upon them), freely give up all kinds of information to people online just to feel a connection to them. By sending pictures, locations, etc. you are making yourself more vulnerable to the machinations of people who might do harm to you. While that scenario isn’t the most common, stalking and assault are things we hear about every day, and online dating and social media have made it infinitely easier to locate and spy on people, whether they’re a potential life partner or a potential victim.
You can see the first twist coming a mile away in this fifteen-minute film, but with short pieces, you generally don’t have a lot of leeway to build suspense or throw in a myriad of red herrings to hide the film’s true intentions. That said, there are a couple more surprises hiding in CHAT that I think the audience will enjoy but I won’t spoil in this review.
The two main leads (Eryn Rea as Julia and Joshua Price as David) have some great chemistry together and their flirting feels genuine. Joshua’s intense eyes seem to flicker back and forth from “man of my dreams” to serial killer at a whim.
Shot simply, utilizing a lot of bisected shots that actually feel better than when other films essentially try to mimic the Zoom look and feel. This movie has its own look and feel which does more with the screen’s real estate than those similar movies. Not all of the “special” shots land perfectly, but overall, the economical way this film was put together makes it look bigger budget than it probably was done for.
CHAT is currently on the festival circuit, so if you have an opportunity to check it out at your local film festival, definitely make it happen.
Summary: A young woman who develops a flirtatious online relationship with a charming stranger soon discovers that nothing is what it seems, and you're never as safe as you think you are.
Countries: United States
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