There’s often the same tweet or Facebook status arguing reasons for celebrities lack of talent. While before it was questionable if a singer could actually sing or who should be credited for someone’s work, now it becomes a question if anything is actually necessary to make yourself famous.
Every day there are countless pieces about the Kardashians and their supposed social stigma. The irony is that it’s those very posts that help expand their brand and give birth to even more exposure. They may be the face of it, but social media has now created several celebrities who have turned their followings into money makers. From Justin Bieber to Danielle Bregoli, aka Bhad Bhabie, they have turned their viral videos into music careers seemingly overnight too much controversy. Many documentaries have touched upon this, but it’s rare to see a fictional narrative make it an essential part of the story.
Set during a convention where fans can meet all their favorite social media influencers, DEADCON, which just had its World Premiere at the Cinepocalypse Film Festival, focuses on Kara, played by Mimi Gianopulos, a vlogger who is tired of the game. With information being uploaded at a rapid rate online, Kara’s team is aware that she needs to produce content on the daily and she simply needs a break. It’s almost apparent that she might not actually want to be a part of this anymore. Flashing the fake smiles, posing for the endless selfies, and updating her followers with short clips of her current moods, it looks incredibly exhausting and she is a victim of that. Her handler is the boss who makes sure the right rooms are booked and appearances are made, pretending she doesn’t hear Kara’s need for sleep. She has other friends in the industry, some who understand, and others who love the attention.
That’s the part of DEADCON I was interested in and wanted more of. However, this is a horror movie and an underdeveloped supernatural aspect was thrown in without any emotional relevance to the rest of the movie. The hotel is overbooked and management places Kara in a room that employees are hesitant to approach. As expected, the room has a grim past that somehow involves a man who attempted to create the original social media software.
As the film carries on, this room becomes a bit of an infection that spreads to others who are attempting to lure children to the room for a sinister purpose. It’s when those horror aspects happen that the movie loses its place. Initially exploring the psychological effects of over-saturated stardom, it turns into another generic ghost offering where the scares aren’t scary and the actors are reduced to mere pawns of possession. I was hoping that Kara’s supernatural experience would lead to some emotional redemption, but that part of her character is thrown out as she literally spends the second half of the movie with a dead stare, walking around. Maybe someone can take this story for a redo because there is something incredibly substantial there waiting to be told. DEADCON, however, just isn’t that story.
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