The Movie Waffler New Release Review (VOD) - CLICKBAIT | The Movie Waffler

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New Release Review (VOD) - CLICKBAIT

clickbait movie review
A young woman puts herself in increasing danger in order to generate online publicity.

Review by Sue Finn

Directed by: Sophia Cacciola, Michael J. Epstein

Starring: Colby Stewart, Brandi Aguilar, Seth Chatfield

clickbait movie poster

There have been films made prior to this one about the dangers of insta-celebrity and our celebration of documented lives at the expense of real connections, real talent, and actual depth of character.

There has been handwringing and despair over the loss of a past we view with rose coloured glasses. Perhaps our parents had the same worries about the youth of the '80s, and now we have grown to express the same fears, and mourn the same losses. Perhaps it’s just a generational thing.

clickbait movie review

Clickbait arrives in time to satirise this seemingly damaging culture of embracing the most banal and vacuous of people and making them someone to aspire to.

We open on the teary face of Bailey (Amanda Colby Stewart) who’s watching something unfold on the screen before her; her earbuds prevent us sharing in her sadness.

“Fucking cunt!” she exclaims, lowering the earbuds; and at the prompting of her ever-present housemate Emma (Brandi Aguilar) she explains her anger that Laura has cancer. She’s not upset at the mortality of a friend, more angry to be ‘bested’. While she doesn’t believe her rival is lying to get views, Bailey believes she’s milking it anyway. It seems they are both competing for the top spot of ‘views’ on a website called www.st33ker.com where they both upload ‘flashes’ (short videos they make) to gain popularity/views.

Apparently Laura, with cancer, is now the number one, but as her housemate reminds Bailey, soon she’ll be dead and Bailey will be number one again; surely she can wait that long. That night they head off to a Halloween party where all the popular flash uploaders will be. Bailey is dressed as a princess but Emma, much to Bailey’s chagrin, is dressed as a turd (“a poop” she says, which she insists is different).

clickbait movie review

Unfortunately for Bailey it’s clear that everyone believes she is a loser for losing her ‘streak’; even buff ex-boyfriend Brayden who hosts his own weight lifting flashes thinks she has fallen beneath him.

That night while coming home they are filmed by a stalker in an all-white Donald Trump mask who uploads his stalker content online, and thus shoots Bailey straight to the top of the leaderboard again.

Things escalate as their home is broken into and Emma is almost kidnapped. This opens a struggle between the women as they argue whether to prioritise views or safety. When they enlist the help of bumbling cop Dobson (a hammy Seth Chatfield) things just seem to escalate, heading for a surprisingly satisfying finale.

The film itself is interspersed with online advertisements for Str33ker sponsor Toot Strudels, essentially pop tarts that need no cooking as they use ‘isotope technology’ (they come in three flavours including eggplant!).

clickbait movie review

Written by Jeremy Long and Michael J Epstein and directed by Sophia Cacciola and Epstein, this movie is a blast. Fun, irreverent, silly but doesn’t overstay its welcome at only one hour and 20 minutes. The two leads (especially Stewart) have no problem carrying the film and their friendship is never not believable.

There are bizarre dream sequences, great music, snappy dialogue (“I’m as confident as a mediocre white man”) and it has something to say about politics, feminism, police work and of course, insta-fame and the high cost to our perceptions and priorities.

And how awesome is that synthesiser 80s-style soundtrack by Night Kisses?!

Two things to note - the kidnappers' ringtone is the movie's theme music, which I thought was pretty genius; and there is a post credits scene, so wait for that.

Definitely worth clicking on.

Clickbait is on VOD now.


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