The people that lurk within our unseen digital crowd rarely align with their digital personas. We rarely align with our own digital personas. ‘Cam‘ (Directed by Daniel Goldhaber) attempts to scare us with a too-real story of identity theft, perverted men and outed digital secrets. Attempts.
Alice aka Lola_lola (Adeline Brewer) is a moderately successful camgirl trying to climb the last few ranks into top model status. Her shows are theatric with a penchant for the dark. She really pulls in the attention – and money – during her faked suicides. While away from the computer, she’s cautious to keep her personal and professional life separate.
‘Cam’ really starts ratcheting up the tension when Alice discovers she’s no longer able to access her cam account. Her life now that of a spectator, she watches in horror as her account begins broadcasting shows with an eerily similar Lola_lola at the center. With the hijacking of her avatar now extending into her private life, she’s forced to risk everything to take it back, while knowing she’ll lose everything if she doesn’t.
Adeline Brewer’s fantastic portrayal of a camgirl humanizes an often objectified and repressed industry. More than that, it successfully accomplishes a bigger challenge: making the viewer feel empathy for the privacy of a person whose livelihood is largely dictated by the personal items she’s willing to shed. However, the direction of the film moves too far away from reality to truly scare the viewer and includes far too many stereotypes to be taken seriously.
The state of privacy is terrifying. Our world increasingly takes place in a digital scope… a digital world that holds our relational currency and equates to physical status and personal happiness. Oversharing is easy when there are no other eyes in the room and our emotions are so deeply tied to our online performance. While the good we do is recorded, our bad decisions remain a forever shadow on the many facets of our lives.
‘Cam’ had an opportunity to talk seriously about the dangers of privacy lost and further sacrificing parts of yourself to impress strangers. It instead tries to convince the viewer that a sentient AI can hijack your identity and everyone in a position to help is a pervert or worse.
Patrick is a frontend developer and 1/3 of the Master of One podcast. Making digital stuff is good, but he would rather meet new people and learn about them. When not sitting in front of a computer screen for work, he's still found sitting in front of a computer screen. Except for pickleball. This dude loves pickleball.