Funny isn’t it how the internet allows us to be in some ways more connected with people yet at the same time more isolated and lonely. This is the theme running behind Jared Bratt and Vincent Pun’s movie Streamer.
Jared, who also co-directed and wrote the movie plays the role of a lonely 28-year-old hopeful filmmaker living in an apartment block in Toronto. Like many millennials his major contact with the outside world is through the web having seemed to have lost the ability or drive to get out in the real world and meet people. Visiting an interactive porn site he becomes obsessed with Ivy (Tanya Lee) and is pleasantly surprised to discover that she lives in the same block. Jared engineers a meeting when she is taking a fag (that’s cigarettes to you North Americans) break outside the building and they start to hang out together.
Problem is Jared assumes there is more to the relationship than Ivy does. As his obsessive passion for her grows he finds it more and more difficult to distinguish what is real from his fantasy world and discovering that Ivy has a boyfriend tips him over the edge.
Both Bratt and Lee are very good in the lead roles. Bratt manages to come across as both vulnerable and just a little bit creepy as the film opens while Lee plays a young actress who while she may not be happy about her means of making a living thinks she is in complete control of her destiny. However despite the initial implied romance Streamer soon becomes an uncomfortable though gripping watch. Although I found I could initially empathise with Jared and his desire to form a relationship, there was something just a bit sordid about the way he went from paying to view Ivy’s webcasts to actively seeking the girl out and virtually stalking her. His descent into full-time obsessive and his inability to tell what’s real and what isn’t from his dreamworld is downright scary.
Possibly happening to a teen near you we give Streamer a 555/666