#Film Review: Netflix’s Selfie from Hell (2018)

Director: Erdal Ceylan

Rating: 1/5

I was excited when I saw this film, and especially because I just completed reading Jon Ronson’s excellent book on social media shaming (So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed; Riverhead Books).

However, the film disappointed me immensely and this is predominantly because the director never decided whether the film is supposed to be about supra-natural, a horror or the story meant to warn us about dangers of selfies, social media sharing and the Dark Net. In the case of the latter, it has been portrayed exclusively negatively and as a place for murderers and freaks. While some users may be from this group, there are also some who come there to use their hacking skills for the good, such as deleting all records of social media abuse and shaming for victims, to hide their identities from abusive political regimes, etc.

In a nutshell, the story is centred on two cousins, Hannah (Alyson Walker) and Julia (Meelah Adams). Julia is a social media vlogger and her last assignment was to investigate the Dark Net. When she joined the mysterious black room, she saw 13 selfies and this was her death penalty for she engaged with an experiment designed by a psychopath who was tested 13 times by his psychiatrist. Throughout the film, we follow vlogger’s cousin trying to look after her as well as discover what is going on. The nature of the investigation has not been well made either, because it lacks depth and in some cases the most normal thing would be to call the police. Certainly not to go to the dark and abandoned warehouse place where you believe a dangerous psychopath is hiding.

All in all, I was very disappointed. The story did have a potential, however, too much time has been wasted on scary scenes at home, and insufficient details have been revealed about the nature of the black room and the Dark Net. In addition, and as I have already emphasised, there is an insufficient determination to focus on either technological or supra-natural.

Thank you for reading.

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