Movie Review: Clickbait (2018)

July 24, 2018

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Bailey (Amanda Colby Stewart) is a top content creator for hot social media site str33ker who is unfortunately falling to second place in the online popularity contest (thanks to her rival Laura getting cancer and therefore the public’s sympathy). In the social circles she travels in this makes her a bit of a pariah…but that is going to be the least of Bailey’s problems as a black gloved, Trump masked, psycho stalks the streets and has acquired a key to her apartment thanks to a night of drinking with a poop…well, a person dressed as a poop anyway; her roommate/camera woman/long suffering friend Emma (Brandi Aguilar). Soon this mysterious maniac begins taking videos from within our heroine’s home and posting them to Bailey’s st33ker page…and they are becoming mega popular which doesn’t make Bailey too anxious to solve the crime…and with the amazingly inept Detective Frank Dobson (Seth Chatfield) assigned to the case there isn’t much chance of that happening anyway! Will our protagonists survive this assault while still keeping their elite social media status intact?
Wow, where to even begin with Clickbait?! Let’s start with the main cast; Stewart and Aguilar as our erstwhile social media superstars, and Chatfield as the world’s worst detective. The interplay between these performers is magic, and no matter how bizarre the film gets, and boy does it (more on that in a bit), these strong performances keep us invested in the slightly askew universe the film inhabits. Also featured are dream sequences that are both psychotronic and beautiful as well as a series of ever more ridiculous adds for str33ker sponsor Toot Strudels; a radioactive toaster pastry. Add to that classic tropes of the giallo (black gloves and all), and slasher genres (though admittedly they share plenty of similarities as the former begot the latter) filtered through the lens of the Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat et. al. generation which gives the proceedings a hip take (though the film makers’ bemusement/disdain at this current state of online affairs is evident).
Speaking of the film makers; as with the other films (Ten, Magnetic, Blood of the Tribades), by dynamic directing duo Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein; this film too has a strong undercurrent of biting social commentary presented in a satirical manner. Everything from social media to corporate sponsorship to instant celebrity to the corruption of law enforcement and government is well and duly skewered. But fret not, because while these themes are being explored, there is a true reverence to our beloved horror biz on display as well (especially for the slasher and giallo genres).
If you are looking for a horror comedy that takes the “horror” part seriously, along with a heaping helpin’ of surreal visuals, pointed commentary, and toaster pastries; Clickbait is the fright flick for you!


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