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With: Madeline Brewer, Patch Darragh, Melora Walters, Devin Druid, Imani Hakim, Michael Dempsey, Flora Diaz, Samantha Robinson, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Quei Tann, Linda Griffin, Clint Jung, Carl Donelson, Brayden Skoglund, Elijah Stevenson
Written by: Isa Mazzei, based on a story by Daniel Goldhaber, Isa Mazzei, Isabelle Link-Levy
Directed by: Daniel Goldhaber
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 94
Date: 11/16/2018

Cam (2018)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Split Lens

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Written by Isa Mazzei and directed by Daniel Goldhaber (from a story by both of them and Isabelle Link-Levy), Cam is a clever horror movie steeped in primal, everyday kinds of fears, rather than ghosts or zombies or jump-scares. Madeline Brewer gives an amazing performance as Alice, a webcam model who, under the name Lola_Lola, performs stripteases and other sexual acts for paying customers to watch. (It's a little like Nastassja Kinski in Paris, Texas, except untouchable behind a computer screen rather than behind glass.) She's obsessed with making the top 50 of her particular site and tries to dream up more and more outrageous ways to get attention. One day, she discovers that "Lola" is online and doing a performance, when Alice herself is clearly not. The doppelganger's shows turn increasingly violent, with fake suicides, etc., while Alice frantically tries to contact the site's owners, or anyone who can help her, but her story begins to sound stranger and stranger. Meanwhile, her family — Melora Walters plays Alice's mom — discovers the true nature of her job, and her life begins to fall apart. The movie's nightmarish quest for Alice to assert and establish her true identity is the stuff of all our darknesses, but the digital design and the focus on alluring sex workers gives it an odd, unique spin. If everything is digital, how is anything real? Fortunately Cam is smart enough to make Alice human enough to lure us in, and get us to identity with her personal horror.

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