When Pop Culture Takes Over

The Den (2014)
A Review By Ben Hunter
4 Out Of 5 Stars


A very innovative and creative take on a scary story! 
“I invented violence, you vile, venomous volatile bitches.  Vain vicodin, vrinn vrinn VRINN!  Texas Chainsaw, left his brains all dang-a-ling from his neck while his head barely hangs on.  Blood, guts, guns, cuts, knives, lives, wives, nuns, sluts, BITCH I’M A KILL YOU! “ – Eminem
Just about everything from Zachary Donohue’s The Den could be summed up from Eminem.  Step into the virtual world that Donohue has created.  A world of video messaging, social media, computers, web cams, digital technology of the young, innovative and fresh mind of the teenage/young adult world; a real grasp of the short attention span, MTV, sex, pop culture, futuristic world of today.  A world Donohue captures and journeys us through entirely on web cams.

Elizabeth (Melanie Papalia) is super psyched about her new graduate school program study on social media, with her work on the new website “The Den”.  Now excitedly having to document all conversations all day long that she can log into her record for her studies, she experiences all types of people and personas.  Things go a little, well, a lot of out of hand as she witnesses a murder on her laptop.  It doesn’t stop there.  The killers infiltrate her life into this world in which she, in an unforeseen manner, has found herself apart of.  No one, herself, her friends, her family (like her pregnant sister), is safe! 

Elizabeth Benton (Melanie Papalia) unexpectedly finds herself in a new, horrific world ... where no one is safe!
I love the innovative camera work!  This is the closest to believable that I’ve seen of film shot in this manner.  This still falls short in the end, in terms of believability, but it’s VERY creative and innovative that it captured my interest for the majority of the story.  When the stunts get heavy towards the end as we enter the horrific world that Elizabeth has been trapped within, that’s when I said, “Okay just shoot this the regular way” as I do with ALL films shot this way (Cloverfield, Project X, Chronicle, etc.).  But The Den is the new champion as it holds out the longest before I snap out of the dream mode because of the camera being another character in the story and causing story issues.

Definitely something to check out if you can handle blood, guts, guns, cuts, knives, lives, wives, nuns, sluts!


The Den 
Horror, 71 Minutes, R
Director:  Zachary Donohue
Writer: Zachary Donohue, Lauren Thompson
Cast: Melanie Papalia, David Schlachtenhaufen, Matt Reidy, Adam Shapiro

Popular Posts