Hey gang, Valkor here. Horror films try their best to tackle the latest trends, especially those involving the Internet or anything cyber-related. We’ve gotten films such “Friend Request”, “Unfriended”, and even “You’ve Got Mail” (gruesome). However, the latest film to cross my desk “Selfie From Hell” deals with something we’ve all been guilty of doing and adds a shocking spin to it. No it’s not really all that shocking. And it’s barely even a horror. Spoilers ahead.
"Selfie From Hell” centers on Hannah (Alyson Walker), who gets a visit from her cousin Julia (Meelah Adams). But, before we go any further, I should make a note that Julia is a vLogger who kicks off the film talking about selfies and how she’s working on a story about the “selfie from hell”. When Julia arrives, Hannah notices that something is bothering her. Hannah also notices Julia enter a website on her phone with an URL she’s never seen before. When she asks about it, Julia brushes it off, asking about how long it would take to get to a certain area from her house. Only, Julia never makes it there or anywhere. She doesn’t die right away; when they arrive at Hannah’s home, and when she’s alone, Julia takes a bunch of selfies. And those that she takes feature a mysterious figure that gets closer with each shot. After the final shot, Julia convulses and is essentially placed in a coma because she rarely wakes up during the rest of the film. I mean her body might spasm or her eyes might open, but she never fully awakens.
After Julia passes out, Hannah starts receiving messages from her cousin. But when she goes to check on her, the girl is still out cold! With no clue other than that weird web address, Hannah looks to the aid of an IT guy named Trevor (Tony Giroux). He tells her that the web address is connected to the dark web and that she should be careful when going down that road – he’s not following her, but he guides her to an IRC chatroom that might be able to help her. He also instructs her not to give out personal information… to which she does. Turns out that was just a trick and it’s only after the fact that Trevor sends her a warning about it. Good job, Trevor!
With much determination, Hannah continues onward into her chatroom journey until she meets a guy named “feareater”, who then leads her to this gruesome area on the dark web call “the red room”. But here’s the catch – feareater doesn’t tell her about the stipulation that if she were to view 13 selfies and her screen cracks, she’s then marked for death. So, of course, she views all the selfies, the screen on her laptop cracks, and soon after all sorts of supernatural, spooky shit start happening to her. Trevor shows up to help, but it’s all for naught as EVERYBODY DIES! There is no happy ending! The film plays out more like a warning to stay out of the dark web or else crazy shit can happen to you. And what does this have to do with selfies? Really, not all that much!
With “Selfie From Hell”, I was kind of expecting something seriously goofy, with tons of teens dying after taking actually taking selfies; whether they did so through supernatural means, or whatever – that’s what I expected. However, with this film, we got something more sinister that doesn’t do much to put fear into taking selfies, but to make one aware of dark corners that one should never access. I’m sure there’s more to it than that, but that was my takeaway. And for that, I can appreciate the film. Things get ominous pretty quick. And it only gets crazier as the film progresses. It only stops being enjoyable as the film reaches its climax, which I’ll discuss in the next section. However, up until that point, it’s a pretty interesting ride. So, if you happen to stumble upon Selfie From Hell, or if you happen upon this review and still wish to view it, then at least, for the most part, you’ll get something of a decent experience.
Let’s start out with something obvious and nitpicky – Julia. Once she’s out, she is out. And Hannah never thinks that maybe, just maybe, she should get her to a hospital. After x-amount of days of her not waking up, that might be the sign of something seriously wrong. The one doctor that does see her prescribes her antibiotics. But what is that diagnosis based on? Julia doesn’t answer any questions, so wouldn’t suggesting that she go to a hospital be the right treatment? No? Okay then. But the true fail of this film is the ending, or should I say the last 20 minutes or so, which is where things start to peter out. But you would think that since it gets kind of chaotic during this part of the film that it would get better (something like Oculus). It doesn’t. It really doesn’t. It just gets more confusing and rather bland. Saying that the film is a letdown is being rather kind. But seriously, that was such a letdown.
That weird demon thing, which looks like something from Grave Encounters.
There's no US release date available for “Selfie From Hell”. But you can expect it to make the digital rounds fairly soon. And if you really want to check it out, the film is available in the UK and Japan (the Japanese poster is bad ass! pic below very related)). However, I thought it was just a so-so experience, which garners the film 2 out of TOV 5 stars.