Saturday, June 14, 2014

Chatroom (2010)

Privileged William has just finished a family therapy program after years of self harm and alienation from this family.  Unfortunately William is either a sociopath or feels so powerless that he decides to take it out on others, and is nowhere near cured of his issues. He's just playing along so that he doesn't need to go to therapy and his family will leave him alone.

William sets up an online chatroom called Chelsea Teens and connects with four teens who feel isolated in the real world.  With William's prodding, they start sharing details of their lives and their innermost thoughts and fears. The problem is that in a chatroom, you don't really know who you're talking to, or their true intent.

Bad news for these kids since William is not emotionally or mentally healthy. He's set up the chatroom so he can manipulate others and hones in on Jim, the weakest member of the group. Jim has no real friends and feels disconnected from the real world.

William encourages Jim to delve into his painful emotions in hopes that he can convince him to commit suicide by pretending to provide emotional support and help him work through his pain.  Remember the good old days when kids who were disturbed killed themselves rather than killing innocent people?

The movie is mostly talking in chatrooms represented by the physical manifestation of a large building with lots of different rooms, each with the title of the room on the door.  Thankfully we're not left looking at a bunch of people typing on their phones or laptops. But even though we learn the groups biggest secrets, we don't really know much about them and William's problems aren't really fleshed out, leaving us guessing as to why he's such an asshole. Blah.

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