The Movie Buff’s Modern Masterpieces: Catfish

by: Alan Smithee

In 1999 The Blair Witch Project seemed to change the face of film. What seemed original back then is now a new film sub-genre: people using hand held cameras to document strange events that happen to them over a course of weeks, months, or years. This scenario is very human. People tell crazy stories and we have the right not to believe them, but if they sat us down and showed us video that they got from the event . . . they would have proof, we would believe them. We would have to! We can’t just say they’re lying after they show us that . . .

Most of these films are horror films, showing things like ghosts, zombies, vampires, and serial killers. Cat Fish has none of the above, and it’s not really horror. It has a very strong message to get across, and it gets it out there: every day more than 1,000 fake profiles are made on sites like Facebook and MySpace. Creating fake profiles is stereotyped as the activity of only old fat perverts, but this movie shines a new light. What you thought would happen doesn’t, and it ends up being not sick, but sad.

Now I don’t want to give too much away–you should really see this for yourself. This film was written and directed by Henry Joost, and Ariel Schulman (Paranormal Activity 3). In it, they are recording Ariel’s brother, Nev. He is a photographer and paintings of his photos are being sent to him by a so-called eight year old girl named Abby. At first the movie is about the friendship between him and Abby, but then he meets her half-sister Megan and he and Megan start having a long distance relationship. After more unfolds, everything turns out not to be what it seems. I cannot tell you what happens next; this is where I stop and you go and watch.

It’s a fun date movie, and you can even watch it with the family, since it’s PG-13.