Magazine article Screen International

Cybernatural

Magazine article Screen International

Cybernatural

Article excerpt

Dir: Levan Gabriadze. US. 2014. 82mins

A horror film seen entirely through the eyes of the computer screen, Levan Gabriadze's ambitious and nicely chilling film that attempts to push the boundaries of a familiar 'teenagers take ghostly revenge' genre is smartly made and a satisfying watch. In the end in truth it is a familiar genre story, but the structure works and it is always intriguing.

Cybernatural is a fascinating exercise and successful as a spin on a familiar genre.

Premiering at the Fantasia film festival in Montreal, the occasionally bloody story is seen via Macs and PCs using Google, Facebook, Skype and other internet portals. Whether they actually give their permission for the brand usage will impact on whether this clever low-budget film will get a proper release or exist solely on the genre festival circuit.

Cybernatural is the story of how a victim of cyberbullying gets her ghostly revenge on the group of teens she deems responsible for her suicide. A variation on the found footage genre, the story is set entirely on a computer screen as the teens interact and respond to the increasing horror. Similar in style to Walter Woodman and Patrick Cederberg's 17-minute short film Noah, which screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013, it is a bold concept to carry through to feature length and is technically extremely impressive, in a similar way to Nacho Vigalondo's use of POV and video footage in Open Windows.

What we the viewer see in Cybernatural is via what Blaire (Shelley Hennig) can see on her Mac laptop. …

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