As technology advances, and society shifts to accommodate, leave it to the horror genre to come up with stories to make these changes and our anxieties about them tangible and terrifying. Such as ‘Christine’ for cars, ‘Frankenstein’ about the line between life and death, or even ‘Black Christmas’ for phones, horror is always representing the shadow cast by these everyday tools. Social Media is on the forefront now such as with ‘Unfriended’ and ‘Friend Request’, but it’s with #FromJennifer that the mundane yet overbearing fear that such a platform has so much control over us now.
Directed by Frank Merle entirely in a 1st Person Camera POV, #FromJennifer follows the titular Jennifer Peterson (Danielle Taddei) who is trying her damndest to make it as an actor in Hollywood with a positive attitude. But don’t call her Jenny, a Jenny is a female donkey. After being fired off a low-budget horror movie, her manager, Chad (Played by ‘Candyman’s Tony Todd) encourages her to try and establish a stronger social media presence in order to find more work, like her bright and shiny best friend Stephanie (Meghan Deanna Smith) who has a million subscribers and does daily sketch videos.
She gets a web presence- thanks to her ex-boyfriend uploading revenge porn of them and essentially sinking her career when Chad drops her as a client. Determined for fame and revenge of her own, Jennifer continues. Recording everything as a part of her plan with a Go-Pro camera Stephanie gifted to her. She recruits Butch (Derek Mears of ‘Friday The 13th’) off of Craigslist as her henchman. A giant, well-meaning, socially anxious man who’s just getting over being broken up by his boyfriend and being laid off from his job at the DVD factory (Topical!) Together, they embark on what will be either a massive viral hit… or a deadly spree.
It is a tale that is sadly all too often today. The search for fame at any cost. Even after having her acting career thrown for a loop, she becomes focused on reaching the masses directly through the internet. Recording EVERYTHING. Even the crimes and deaths she and Butch commit in the name of their project. Though distinctly a dark comedy, there are some great scenes of tension as Jennifer’s plot unfolds and her mind unravels, and you just don’t know who will become a casualty along the way. Jennifer and Butch are distinctly sympathetic and complicated characters outside the usual ‘killers’ of horror movies. Having more in relation to the protagonists of a Coen Brothers’ movie, whose ignorance and determination get people killed. There are some really funny characters and jokes that only further juxtapose how dark and brutal things get.
The characters are an eccentric group. From Jennifer’s well intentioned but violent manservant, Butch, to the sleazy dates she entraps in her internet dating scheme, everybody who appears makes an impression. Unlike a lot of horror movies, and especially with the themes of social media, the plot is a pretty slow build-up through most of the first half, but when things go wild, they go wild! If you’re looking for a pitch black horror comedy of fame in the internet age, you can get it #FromJennifer.
#FromJennifer is now available for VOD and digital download.
Feature Image: Youtube