Cinematic arts give a razor-sharp depiction of the whys and wherefores of those who brand themselves as influencers and vloggers. In a nutshell, this is what Perci Intalan’s Live Scream is all about.
But when one digs deeper and weighs the truth that it presents, we get that this motion picture is not just a cautionary tale. It tells us what kind of morality and motivation these vloggers believe and have. What is alarming is that the most bored, entitled, and gullible, whose lives revolve around their gadgets and get a kick with the latest scandal and the one day you are in, the next hour you are out online sensation, are the market that accepts what they offer, hook, line and sinker.
The story of an online vlogger named Exo who has gone a bit too far with his prank videos, prompting netizens to cancel him is a common occurrence in the dizzying world of social media.
The most horrific ingredient of the movie is that one day, Exo finds himself trapped in a dark room. Things turn bloody and gory, when a masked figure gives him instructions to use a torture wall or else his loved ones will suffer.
Exo has no choice but to give in to the situation and the major prankster now becomes the unwilling subject of all kinds of physical, sexual, and mental abuse –streamed live at that, in order to save the life of a beloved.
The best reasons to watch it are, first of all, Elijah Canlas as Exo, whose level of commitment in giving his character’s emotional truth is beyond compare.
As Exo, he is sweet and loving to his grandmother. He also has this I do not give an F attitude as he executes a prank with his girlfriend portrayed by Phoebe Walker. He legitimizes and justifies fame whoring for exponential numbers of viewers for the cash and instant gratification of course.
Canlas made Exo a man you who stirs confusion. He plays the inexperienced from the exterior remarkably well but as the movie progresses, one gets to see how he employs this boyish charm offensive to hide his many plans and schemes for online supremacy and preservation.
Another reason to arouse curiosity is definitely Phoebe Walker. As the seasoned influencer and partner of Exo, she invested not only life but vulnerability in her Amanda. She gives damsel in distress a twisted flavor. New starlet Kat Dovey has the insouciance and brazenness to pull off her influencer named Raiza. And character actor Lucky Mercado gives a whole different meaning and exposition to the words surprise and shocking.
The biggest, and most horrific element of this movie is the absurdity of its premise which is taking the phrase violent reaction to an all-extreme level. We all know that cursing, cuss words, and all sorts of shaming are already considered staples in the online world but what LiveScream showed is the scariest of them all.
This is Perci Intalan’s manner of reminding the callous and irresponsible members of the vlogging community to stop polluting the web with nonsensical activities and polarizing shenanigans.
True, for a vlogger, his or her video page is a democratic space and platform to express what he feels and believes as truth. However, Live Scream makes one realizes that freedom is not absolute and yes, it also has repercussions that can be immediate, intense, and life-altering.
Though it is unlikely to happen given the Filipino psyche per se, what Live Scream wants all of us to realize, the tribulation that Exo experienced, is not an impossibility. The right dosage of lunacy, when it becomes extremely potent can seduce all those who have been aggrieved. When they succumb to the dark side and implement their version of a “cleaning spree”, be afraid. Be very afraid.
Live Scream is currently streaming on Vivamax Plus, the pay-per-view service of Vivamax.