Even wrapped up in a potentially problematic genre framework, Cam avoids the pitfalls that weaker films about this subject matter would fall into and succeeds as a thoroughly entertaining and effective invasion shocker.
Madeline Brewer’s performance is great, managing to exude the extreme confidence and vulnerability the movie demands of her. It’s a tricky role; not only does she have to convincingly exhibit her sexuality, but also constantly react to screens and technology with varying degrees of engagement and distress. As a result, there are extended periods of Cam where you’re just enjoying watching Brewer navigate the material.
Writer Isa Mazzei is an ex-cam girl herself and the movie is greatly deepened by her experience. There are clearly moments Mazzei lived herself, and the film’s autobiographical edge is ever present, even when it gives way to the film’s more extreme genre impulses. As a result, Cam works as both a metaphorical horror movie about the malleable concept of identity in today’s internet age, as well as a fascinating delve into an online world and community that contemporary mainstream cinema is usually too judgemental or prudish to tackle. One of the great surprises of the year.
Watched on Netflix.