Elizabeth Benton (Melanie Papalia) is researching the habits of web cam chat users when she comes across what she believes is an authentic killing of a young women by a masked killer. When no one believes her she decides that she can’t sit by and do nothing but by becoming involved and not letting it go she comes under the presence of the killer. This is the plot of the film The Den (2013) a film that users the technology of the web cam chat to tell its story of Internet stalking and murder.
Elizabeth has been given a grant to remain online and using a website called The Den to conduct her research. The problem is that when she opens herself to everything online it opens her up to all the evil that is out there. Soon Elizabeth is being stalked herself and friends of hers start to disappear. By the time the police actually believe her it may be too late.
Because the film unfolds over several days watching the film via web cam chat room gets really monotonous really fast and some of the things that the masked killer does seem impossible or unbelievable. Papalia does a capable job of holding the film together since she’s the person you follow from beginning to end. The film is directed by Zachary Donohue who also co-wrote with Lauren Thompson. Despite having a slow beginning the film does pick up and actually does a really good job in the third act which is where Papalia gets to really show her stuff.
The film has an interesting concept in the way of presenting a modern day “snuff” film for the digital age. It’s not the best film of its kind but it’s a decent one that not a complete waste of time.