‘The Social Network’ and ‘Catfish’ prove there are ripe films to be made on the dark side of web connectivity, but this is the rotten apple of the bunch. Hideo Nakata, the Japanese director of ‘Ring’, dishes up a folly with this London-set adaptation of Enda Walsh’s play about five troubled teens who meet in a Chelsea Teenagers forum, one of whom, William (Aaron Johnson), manipulates his virtual new friends into entering dangerous territory. Nakata’s decision to depict these forums as rooms and corridors in a labyrinthine hotel is a good one. The problem is that when he takes his camera into more everyday set-ups, he shows his lack of connection with the material. There are few chills, and the plot finally descends into silly gunplay. The whole thing feels oddly dated and is saddled with some dire ‘real world’ theatrics in comparison to its more expressive, ‘virtual’ scenes.
Cast and crew