Boring Voyeur: ‘Strangers Online’ Review

Boring Voyeur: ‘Strangers Online’ Review

I am not sure why creators of bad horror films find the need to always throw lots of awkward sex into their movies. They (the writers) act as if they just came out of the soft-core porn market and are trying to adapt to this “new” way of filming but are unable to give up the elements that they were “good” at creating. Strangers Online is a less of a movie and more of a grinding experience that starts out with some promise but ends up losing itself in the plot and pointless characters. Once again (from previous posts) this is a movie put out by Breaking Glass Pictures and I don’t expect much but this one, while not as atrocious as Bloodlust Zombies, it still begins to fall apart 30 minutes in.

The movie focuses on Hollace Parker (played by Noel Palomaria) who lost his first girlfriend to a grisly murder while he was in the house with her. After four years, Hollace seems to have forgotten most of it and is trying to move forward in his career while being with his new girlfriend. Even though he is seeing a psychologist about the incident, Hollace wants to make this new woman his wife and start a family. He works for K-SIN (I know…) radio where he runs a talk show in which STRANGERS talk ONLINE via webcams and ask Hollace questions about sex. As the film progresses we learn that there is more to the murder of Hollace’s ex-girlfriend than we originally thought (or so the movie wants you to think) and the climax of the film proves that you will have wasted 100 minutes of your life.

I could talk about the weird neighbor that spies on Hollace or the new intern that wants to steal Hollace away from his new love. I don’t see the point though because if you watch this (you might) I don’t want to ruin all of the little details that could make this “fun” for you. There are things in this movie that I honestly really enjoyed but there was not enough of it to keep me invested in the outcome of our “heroine”.

Strangers Online is a slow burn type of film with a methodical way of presenting characters and back story. I usually prefer these types of movies but everything that is slowly revealed in this film makes it seem less interesting or it felt that the director was trying to just keep you on your toes. At its most basic level, the plot is intriguing. A man who is haunted by a murder and trying to move on, this creates a great pathos for Hollace and you want to see him win because he is so likeable. Yes, my biggest “like” for the movie was the main character and the actor himself. Noel Palomaria does a great job at playing a conflicted and lovesick sort of guy. He was the only thing that kept me from wanting to turn off the T.V. because Hollace is a very likeable and relatable person. A good part of the film takes place in a radio station and for some reason; I really dig that sort of setting. It’s like watching Howard Stern (not that this movie in any other way resembles the genius of that man) and can be on some level very entertaining.

What makes the movie so very unwatchable or unendurable is the way in which the material of the film is presented. Strangers Online is marketed as being an “erotic thriller” which means that it will excite you in TWO ways. I personally hate the word “thriller”, just because it reminds me of shitty paperback books but that is not the point here. The movie portrays a number of sexual encounters and a majority of them are taken out of the soft-core porn handbook. They have cheesy music with an awkward amount of nudity that should only be seen in porn. I don’t get why they make soft-core, either make real porn or make some tasteful scenes. The sex scenes are just plain goofy as well and to think anyone every fucks like these people makes me sick and sad. What really makes this movie horrible is the inclusion of characters that have nothing to do with the eventual outcome but yet the writers made a big deal in including them in these subplots that seemed to be a part of the overall narrative. Wrong! It was all meant to make you think something else as opposed to what the real ending is. Strangers Online is just boring too, there are zero moments of excitement and the intrigue that you have at the beginning fades away around the 30 minute mark.

Strangers Online had some great ideas behind it but they were not executed in a way that can make this movie recommendable. It is a boring 100 minute movie that will make you want to turn it off in search of something greater. I am able to forgive low budget films for many things but sometimes a movie is not good because it is just not good. If you want to watch a Breaking Glass Pictures film then I suggest Exit 33 but I am unable to promote the boring behavior of Strangers Online.

 


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My name is Jesse Lee Alan Bartel and I love being a critic on things you don't care about. I love films, horror, writing, and violent video games. Hope to hear from you and happy stabbings. I am also a regular contributor to The Liberal Dead.

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