Privacy Setting (2013)

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This starts off like some awful student horror film about a voyeuristic creep, full of student film tics and non-flourishes. Then it takes a turn and becomes something else, something more playful and less insidious and a lot of the bad tics go away. It contains some interesting stuff but for the most part this is a tedious, ugly-looking effort from Swanberg, sorely lacking the on-screen presence of his regular actors who could probably elevate this into something more lived-in and credible. There’s a distance between the actors and the material which I don’t think is intentional, meaning the whole thing never locks into place. Would have probably worked better as a fifteen minute short, at best, as the puncline-like conceit which provides the narrative switch halfway through struggles to sustain interest to the very end. It feels more like one of Adam Wingard’s mumblecore efforts and Wingard would have probably made this somewhat tolerable. As far as Swanberg is concerned, this is about as minor as it gets.

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