Your tolerance for braindead provocation will most likely decide how a lot you benefit from the live-stream discovered footage chiller “Dashcam,” an hour-plus-long horror film about an obnoxious web troll who will get chased around by a supernatural entity who sprays blood, feces, and urine. You would possibly admire the filmmakers’ dedication to being as nasty as they wish to be, particularly on the condition that this film’s from the identical artistic staff because of the goofy however fitfully creepy Zoom séance pic “Host.” You additionally would possibly discover “Dashcam” to be simply one other button-mashing style train, solely with a ton of gross-out gags and a few cool-looking stunt work.
You must most likely additionally know that Annie (Annie Hardy), the film’s loud antiheroine protagonist, doesn’t get punished or meaningfully put by means of the wringer. Annie, a foul-mouthed anti-vaxxer, runs away from L.A. to London, the place she hopes to crash along with her former bandmate Stretch (Amar Chadha-Patel) and his understandably miffed associate Gemma (Jemma Moore). Annie’s trans-Atlantic voyage places her on a whimsical path to Angela (Angela Enahoro), a violent, disoriented, and sickly-looking older Black girl who additionally has psychic powers and mightn’t manage her bowels. Angela chases Annie and Stretch round; some low-cost thrills ensue and no life classes are discovered.
The purpose of “Dashcam” appears to be its well-timed pointlessness. Like Annie’s Livestream channel, this film’s a fireplace hose of unprocessed feelings that not even the filmmakers try to course of. Which is barely annoying each time Annie dips into her half-knowing, half-reflexive web persona. So, numerous scenes. Hardy’s pinched excessive voice could recall to mind the impish comedienne Kristen Schaal, however, her stream of profanities (many eye-roll-inducing japes about rape and sodomy) aren’t quirky-surprising as a lot as they’re a calculated spray of unpleasantness.
Director Rob Savage and his three co-writers need you to conflate Annie’s freewheeling habits—she steals an automotive, open-palm slaps Stretch, and calls Gemma a “feminazi”—along with her anti-vaxxer raving and her very online attention-seeking. She has a MAGA hat, an anti-“liberal” sweatshirt, and a cordless autotuning mic. If you take a look at Annie Hardy, you’re taking a look at a poisonous temper board of Web dickery.
However, there’s nothing ambiguous about Annie or her character. She’s generally humanized as a result of she endures a gauntlet of circumstantial peril, that includes automotive crashes, psychic-related phenomena, and a wide range of bodily fluids. There’s additionally an excessive close-up of human feces that’s so harshly front-lit and bodily proximate you could not solely see its texture, but additionally think about what it smells like.
Often, Annie tries to joke off the difficulty that she and Stretch discover themselves in after she impulsively takes cash from a stranger (Seylan Baxter) to chauffeur Angela to a secluded residence. Annie tries to think about a rhyme for “orange” whereas she and Stretch are shot at and thrown around by varied assailants, together with a mysterious girl (Mogali Masuku) who, like Tony Danza, retains calling out for “Angela!”
Annie says issues like “so long, libtard” and “sh*t on my dick” like she’s acquired a selected sort of Web Tourette Syndrome. This checks out since Annie is the hostess of BandCar, an internet streaming collection the place she drives around and improvises raunchy rap lyrics based mostly on commenters’ strategies. Solely, in contrast to Annie Harding, who in actual life additionally hosts a web program referred to as Bandar, Annie’s followers—represented in a chat sidebar on the display screen’s lefthand facet—speculate about Joe Biden’s blood-drinking habits and customarily sound like Beavis and Buttheads’ grand-kids. Nonetheless, with followers like these, it stands to cause that Annie’s songs embody free verses like “If you sanitize because you believe the lies that the mainstream media guys tell you.” Not precisely innovative stuff, as far as political commentary goes, however, it’s a sure sort of water assembly on its stage.
That additionally appears to be the purpose of “Dashcam”: the leisure that Annie affords her viewers throughout her UK sojourn doesn’t radically differ from her assaultive model of stream-of-conscious shock jock humor. Think about watching a composite of James Corden and Joe Rogan as she will get chased around by a vengeful wraith who doesn’t discuss, however, does like to fling every little thing else around her.
“Dashcam” additionally occurs to be a showcase for disorienting particular results, most of which successfully maintain viewers on their back-foot by making us marvel at what we’re taking a look at. Now we’re in an automotive crash! Now we’re drowning in an automotive! Now we’re being chased around on all fours by means of the woods, right into a corridor of mirrors, after which again to a different automotive!
On this means, “Dashcam” succeeds as a barrage of icky stimuli that will go nice with rowdy viewers. (it’s already screened at some genre-friendly movie festivals) So on the one hand: Savage and his co-creators deserve credit scores for dedicating themselves to a sure bit. However: I’m good, thanks.