For as much as social media has become an integral part of our lives, it hasn't really become the subject of many horror/thriller movies (Catfish and Killcam being exceptions that immediately come to mind). Maybe because the action, such as it is, is sort of tame: people feverishly clicking buttons, staring fearfully at ... computer screens?
Screenwriter Mark Heyman (Black Swan), director/producer Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler), and director/writer George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau) have teamed up to tackle the topic in what promises to be a chilling new way. The movie, titled XOXO, is being billed as a Fatal Attraction for the digital age -- and it sounds awesomely creepy.
XOXO is set in the virtual world of Facebook, where things aren't always quite what they seem. The story follows an executive who's engaged to be married, but begins an online relationship with a mysterious woman. Then they live happily ever after! The end.
Pysch. God, that would be the most boring movie ever.
Apparently the guy's ill-advised flirting turns sour as “the Internet romance begins seeping into the protaganist's actual life in a deadly way,” and icky stalker-y things ensue. Hmmm, yes, this IS sounding like an interesting twist on familiar cinematic territory. Say, is there a Facebook status for "boiling a rabbit on a stove"?
The plan is to use “stylized visual sequences” to bring the online interactions to life, and the film will reportedly incorporate webcam and documentary elements. It sounds like a pretty big challenge, but given the names attached to this project, I bet they can pull it off. Plus, aside from the well-recognized elements of the Relationship With Deadly Consequences, the story sounds like it taps into some of our trust issues with social media. Privacy, access to personal information, online safety ... these are all common modern pop culture bugaboos, don't you think?
I think on some level, we all think social media is a little scary. Suddenly, we live in a time when people, strangers, can see and read nearly everything we're doing, because we're (oddly) trusting enough to put it all out there voluntarily. And sometimes, horrible things happen as a result of being a little too trusting. To say nothing of the paranoia, mind games, and mixed messages involved with such a passive-aggressive and often anonymous form of communication.
Exactly! XOXO sounds both timely and fun/disturbing. There's no, ah, timeline for this movie's release yet, but I'm definitely looking forward to hearing more about it.
What do you think of the XOXO movie idea? Do you think a thriller based around social media interactions can work?
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