The best news for every other mediocre, abysmal and outfight awful film of 2020? They’re only competing for second worst film of the year thanks to the atrocity that is Don’t Click.
In essence this is a Saw-style torture porn film decrying the lack of humanity with actual torture porn. Pretty sure we didn’t need a movie to convince the regular movie viewing populace that’s not something that could be considered entertaining. Still, director G-Hey Kim and screenwriter Courtney Ellum think they’re game for this goofy, stupid and incredibly uncomfortable film to watch.
Childhood friends Josh (Valter Skarsgård) and Zane (Mark Koufos) have just set up their college apartment and are ready for the thrills and excitement that come with this new chapter in their lives. While Josh adapts easily, the shy and reclusive Zane isn’t able to fit in at all. Ellum doesn’t make a convincing case that Josh and Zane have spent most of their lives together and writes them more as new roommates.
Zane starts regularly visiting a website where women are beaten, mutilated, tortured and eventually killed. This doesn’t make Zane a sympathetic character a fact that seems completely lost on Kim and Ellum, who proceed to spend the rest of the film portraying Zane as a social outcast looking for some connection.
The truth is Zane comes off more like the kind of person friends and associates wouldn’t be surprised to hear shot up a classroom or nightclub. Trying to rationalize his actions is a bad approach and the film quickly collapses for trying to redeem one of its two leads.
As we eventually learn, Josh isn’t that much better, but hey he’s got wacky chemistry with a fellow student, Shannon (May Grehan) so he’s “normal.” Josh gets pulled into a virtual supernatural reality where one of the website’s victims, Maya (Catherine Howard) watches those who watched her eventual death get tortured. A mysterious being randomly assumes control of Josh’s body and makes him slowly kill Zane as Josh fades in and out of this reality.
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Ellum sets the script up like some huge mystery where Josh tries to figure out why he and Zane are being targeted. Ummm…maybe it’s because you guys watched a website where women get beaten and killed for kicks?
Kim brings what now feels like a very dated style of horror thriller with the spectral antagonist popularized in films like The Ring and The Grudge. The spectral plane occurs in one space like the first Saw with less imagination beyond some shaky digital effects and slow-mo. Kim wastes far too much time showing the gory details of the torture on both sides. There’s nothing to be gained or learned from these scenes and plays out like a gratuitous excuse to make audiences squirm.
Despite a relatively short 97-minute run time, the pacing makes the film feel twice as long.
Maybe there’s a smarter film about women getting some measure of revenge on this disturbing genre, but that’s not Don’t Click, which celebrates the very excess it seeks to speak out against.
Normally with even the most bare budget and shoddy film, I try to find something positive to write. I’m not gonna waste the time with Don’t Click as it doesn’t merit a participatory medal. Take the advice of the title and avoid bothering to check this one out now matter how slow or bored you might be at the time.
Rating: 0 out of 10
Photo Credit: Gravitas Ventures