Why Watch? Fair warning: by the end of this short film, you may hate smiley faces (if you don’t already).
Bryan Baca’s Identity Theft seems almost quaint after this week’s massive dump of stolen photos, but real life doesn’t take away from the monstrous tension created here as our hero Shayne tries to woo a girl through his instant messaging client. He’s nervous, recognizing a chance to be happy and not wanting to screw it up, but someone else has more sinister plans for his budding relationship.
Baca and company do a great job of learning from the Kubrick school, molding a wordless, one-man script into a slowly churning nightmare where the concept of control is flipped upside down. Plus, they’ve managed to make a movie about cyber security where the villain isn’t a hacker or a Catfish or a phisher or any other of the terrible titles we give people who scam and steal electronically.
Yes, it’s tense, but it’s hair-raising in that midnight movie kind of way. The practical effects need a little work, but nothing diminishes the eerie tone and the legitimate, rhetorical question that the film is bringing to life.
Thanks to reader Richard B. for the tip.