Movies can quickly help you escape the harshness of reality. They can easily activate your imagination and take you places you never imagined. But sometimes the film industry can unveil the dark side of things we either take for granted or utilize on a daily basis. There is nothing scarier than finding out something you thought was safe could lead to your untimely demise. One thing the movies have turned into a horrific evil that entices people to sleep with the light on and unplug their router before bed is the world wide web. Certain films have demonized the internet and some titles may have you covering your PC’s camera because you seriously never know who is watching.
The internet is a double-edged sword in today’s world. It continually makes our lives easier and helps connect people across the globe. But past the search engines and social media platforms lies a vast wasteland of debauchery and evil that can be an absolute nightmare for those that aren’t adequately versed in the cyber world. The far corners of the web can contain things like human trafficking, drug deals, and contract killing. From talking to strangers all the way to cyber terrorism, these ten films explicitly expose the evil side of the Internet.
1. Searching (2018)
Nothing is scarier for a parent then staring up at the ceiling late at night wondering what their kids are doing on their computers. Everyday parentals read about heinous acts occurring on Facebook with kids or tragedies that involve impromptu meetups in chat rooms. The fear is real in what could happen to kids if they aren’t adequately regulated when it comes to the world of cyberspace. 2018’s Searching, which stars John Cho and Debra Messing, truly showcases one of the worst horrors the web has to offer. In more ways than one, this one hits on the idea of losing your child to something terrible on the internet.
The film takes place entirely from the view of a computer screen, and the narrative flows just as if the viewer was operating keyboard and maneuvering the mouse. While this isn’t the first time this style of filmmaking has been attempted, it is one of the best titles to do so to date. Searching is about a 16-year-old girl going missing and her father’s attempts to find her by breaking into her laptop. This leads him on an eye-opening experience that truly shows the more distant you are from your kids the better chances terrible things can happen, especially online.
2. Unfriended: Dark Web (2018)
Unfriended: Dark Web goes out of its way to prove the internet is dark and full of terrors. This film is another movie that takes place entirely on a computer screen. This time it focuses on friends having game night via webcams. Then everything starts to get out of control when the laptop one of them finds at coffee shop ends up having some disturbing things on it. And when the previous owner attempts to get it back, an evil organization that operates on the dark web is revealed. Their evil deeds include kidnapping, torture and drilling holes in peoples heads for large sums of money via cryptocurrency.
The group is hacked, and their darkest fears are exploited. Their entire lives exist online, making it easy for these web dwelling psychopaths to terrorize the unsuspecting millennials. Most of the situations that these individuals go to at the hands of their online tormentors would seem like impossible ideas on paper but when seen play out in real time can really terrify you with the idea of what one is capable when they have hacked your life. And the even scarier part is what if that individual is a deranged killer.
3. Ratter (2015)
Have you ever been walking around the house and get the feeling you are being watched? Well, you actually might be. Phones, laptops, computers, tablets, smart devices all have cameras and just because the owner is not operating it does not mean someone isn’t watching. A Ratter is a hacker who hijacks a device or computer to watch unsuspecting victims. While this seems like something out of a horror movie, which it is, it is something that is very real and happens all the time. The 2015 film Ratter gives audiences a dark peek into what could happen if a ratter chose to make their lives his or her most-watched program.
Ratter paints a dark picture of how easy it is to access a persons information and what is even scarier is how often people give away access to their lives without even realizing it. The film takes you inside what it is to be a creepy voyeur looking through creepy angels as an innocent girl is watched until just viewing her life is no longer enough. Then the stalking begins which only further proves that there are some sick people online and because of technology these monsters are much more dangerous.
4. The Net (1995)
It is shocking to think in today’s day and age it is so easy for people online and companies to know everything about you. They know what you eat when you sleep, what your favorite shows are, what your routine, is what your dreams are, and even what secrets you may have kept away. And what’s even more terrifying than knowing all that is realizing that the evildoers in cyberspace have been able to do this for some time now. In fact, they’ve been able to wreak havoc with a keyboard since 1995s The Net.
The ’90s weren’t exactly known for their technology, but the cyber thriller starring Sandra Bullock put into perspective just how bad this internet thing could be, and there would be consequences if people didn’t take that seriously. Bullock experiences some severe identity theft when she stumbles onto a
5. Untraceable (2008)
If the villains that exist on cyberspace are enough to make a person seek therapy over their unhealthy fear, then the people that cheer them on will make everyone nauseous. Who are these people? The Views, Likes, and Shares these monsters get when they post their dastardly deeds. The ones that are part of the sick and twisted acts as the audience provide the demand, so the dark side has the opportunity to supply the terror. What is even more scary about this idea is the fact that these people could be anyone, your neighbor, your best friends, or even the mailman. It becomes very apparent in the film Untraceable.
The film revolves around a killer who kills people via lifestream and the more viewers the killer gets, the faster the victim is killed. And from the looks of the peoples faces as the number of hits travels to the millions, it looks very unpleasant. Diana Lane plays an agent tasked to catch this psychopath, and it gets scarier when she, a person of law enforcement, is hacked and under the surveillance by the killer. His internet fame has given him confidence that makes him think he is powerful. All this is a result of depravity humans are capable of or at least willing to watch.
6. #Horror (2015)
Social media has seemed to take over everyone’s life in the past few years and shows no signs of slowing down. People are always staring into their smartphones scrolling through their feeds and seeing which of the latest hashtags is trending. When doing so, one does not expect to find a series of horrific photos of murdered girls and video confessions from a psychopath, but if you tapped #horror back in 2015, that’s what you got. #Horror is a terrifying movie that is based on actual events and shows the dark side of what could end up on social media if someone is pushed too far.
In the film, virtual terror quickly turns into actual terror for a group of teenage girls who are always posting things to social media throughout a sleepover in a mansion. But this fun quickly gets dark as some severe cyberbullying occurs that inevitably leads to a grave amount of bloodshed at the hands of a deranged killer. In the end, the gruesome murders of the girls are documented in photos and posted all over social media.
7. Trust (2010)
When people get ready for bed every night, they kiss the kids goodnight, lock the doors, and make sure the windows are sealed tight to prevent anyone from getting in. But evil always finds a way in. One way those predators get to their prey is via the Internet. Chat rooms and social media are a haven for sexual deviants looking to trick unsuspecting innocent children into their clutches only to be assaulted and traumatized. And this terrifying notion is vividly illustrated in 2010’s Trust.
The film sees a young girl talking to a cute boy from across the country only to find out he is a grown man. He then brings her to a motel and rapes her. Afterward, he remains in contact with her despite an investigation into the predator by the FBI. Then the girl is belittled on a website for being raped and embarrassing manipulated photos of her all over it. From sexual predators to revenge porn, Trust is a chilling tale of digital darkness.
8. Megan is Missing (2011)
The found footage genre has brought many classics into the world of cinema. These films are jarring, but the realistic and horrifying images seen in the movie stays with audiences long after the credits roll. Megan is Missing is no different. The found footage film which is based on actual events again touches upon the idea of people putting themselves out there online and the dangerous people that could be lurking in that innocent chat room behind that welcoming avatar.
When teenager Megan goes missing after meeting the guy she was talking to online her friend Amy searches for her. When she confronts the guy, she is the kidnapped too. This cautionary tale ends with some gruesome images of the girl’s tragic fates and will instantly pop back into ones head whenever someone is told that they met an individual online. This very grounded and very familiar type of setting makes this experience one people would rather not find themselves in.
9. Cam (2018)
Identity Theft can be a harrowing experience for anyone that has gone through it. It is devastating knowing that someone else is pretending to be you. It can be a terrifying thing to realize that if someone wanted to, they could take everything away from you leaving one utterly helpless. The Netflix film Cam is a visual interpretation of the worst case scenario when it comes to the theft of a person’s identity.
The film centers on a cam girl named Lola who is trying to figure out an issue her account. Her doppelgänger has hijacked her live web show where she performs. This impostor is someone who is regularly performing streams in her name. And to make matters worse, no one can tell the difference. It leads to a crazy ride as Lola attempts to take back her life. Cam focuses on how vulnerable people can become when their identities are ripped away from them with the click of a mouse.
10. Catfish (2010)
The Catfish film gave the world the term that would describe a person that pretends to be someone else online to trick them or make them do things. It continually happens in cyberspace and can have devastating results that can either be embarrassing or fatal. This film explores the aspect of Catfishing and opens up a brand new terror for people that want to meet people online have to fear.
A photographer named Nev starts to talking to a girl online named Megan and his friends document the experience giving the film a found footage vibe. But soon Nev realizes that things Meghan is sending him are not hers. It leads to an impromptu trip to meet her in person, When they arrive they soon realize things are not what they seem. This eerie tale showcases that not everyone is who they seem online and those seeking new friends should do so with caution.