We live in a world of instant entertainment, gratification and communication, our lives wrapped in a digital world of likes, shares, comments and viral videos, the ability to distinguish between reality, fiction, pain, and pleasure caught in a trap of instant gratification. Over the years, many horrors and thrillers have explored this new online world, from uwantme2killhim? to Unfriended and Assassination Nation; however, the world of violent online pornography has often remained taboo until now, as G-Hey Kim’s Don’t Click bravely descends into themes that are bound to leave many uncomfortable. Based on their 2017 short film of the same name, G-Hey Kim loses their way in the transition from a short film to feature length story. Here they delve into concepts of reality versus fiction and culpability versus ignorance before sadly opting for gruesome torture porn. Due to this, Don’t Click dissects its young actors rather than the world of violent online porn.
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Josh (Valter Skarsgård) returns from a drunken night out to find his college roommate, Zane (Mark Koufos), missing. But Zane’s laptop is still open, and the screen is still alive with violent pornography. Josh seems unsurprised by the content, as if he knew all along that his roommate and friend harboured dark thoughts. But as he stares at the screen, Josh suddenly blacks out, and when he wakes, he is trapped in a dark cellar, where the screams of Zane echo through the walls.
Don’t Click never achieves its narrative goal, even with some interesting cutaway moments exploring the relationship between Zane and Josh. Its focus on classic torture porn explores the body’s pleasure zones, and while it aims to dissect misogyny and pornographic addiction, it instead becomes the very thing it aimed to debate; a slice of sexual violence. There is a clear reason for this, as G-Hey Kim turns the tables on men who watch and consume violent porn, but this also assumes men are not the victims of this practice. This is a damaging assumption, as women also consume violent porn, including videos of simulated and actual torture of men. The result is a confused narrative path that dwells in gore and can’t be saved by its talented and engaging young cast.
Director: G-Hey Kim