Out Now On-Demand
A camgirl (Madeline Brewer) discovers that she's been replaced on her show with an exact replica of herself in this identity horror-thriller.
As this replica pushes the boundaries of her internet identity, she loses all control over her life - and the men in it. While struggling to regain what she’s lost, she slowly finds herself drawn back to her show and to the mysterious person who has replaced her.
- Daniel Goldhaber(feature debut)
The plot of Netflix techno-thriller Cam doesn’t entirely satisfy, but the compelling concept, excellent lead performance, and brilliant details win out.
Cam follows resourceful camgirl Alice as she fights to regain control of her popular webcam account after it is stolen by a girl who looks exactly like her. Madeline Brewer plays Alice (and Alice’s webcam persona, ‘Lola’, as well as Lola’s double) with perceptive clarity. Brewer’s enticing ability to depict subtle shifts between these three characters carries the film as we watch her interact with her regular viewers, fellow camgirls, brother, and mother.
The limitations of Cam’s low budget are noticeable in the film’s largely bare sets, but Kate Arizmendi’s slick cinematography manages to bring a rare cinematic value to the intended cyber-kitsch aesthetic. As the debut feature of both director Daniel Goldhaber and screenwriter Isa Mazzei, notably a former sex worker herself, Cam manages to bring something new and interesting to the neon dream cyber-thriller genre.
The mystery regarding who is controlling Alice’s techno-apparition grows a little blurry as time goes on. Instead, the film is at its best when illustrating the world of webcamming; the clunky 2000s interface; the relationships between the girls; the specificity of viewer requests; the limitations of technical support; the cluelessness and idiocy of the police. And while the risk posed by technology is integral to the story, the film is never moralising about sex work or the internet, thank god. More than that, Cam is about power, precarity, and online identity, and herein lies its strength.