Catfish – Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman

(No spoilers – I promise!)

Catfish.  Boy falls in love with girl over facebook, only to find after plucking up the courage to meet her “in real life” – things aren’t what they seem. To which the film unravels a dark and eerie twist that makes your understanding of social networking plunge into the strange and unknown.

Wrong.  Or so the trailer would make you believe.  With so many documentary horror film set-ups, (such as Paranormal Activity, The Fourth Kind and not to mention The Blair Witch Project) it’s so easy to assume Catfish is going to be, I apologise for the pun, another fish in that pond.

But it’s really not..  I’m not going to spoil the film for anyone reading who hasn’t seen it, because I know how much I uncontrollably hate that..  Although, I was originally disappointed that this didn’t turn into a psychological horror that scared my socks off – I’ve still not been able to shake it’s chilling unmasking conclusion for four or five days now.

Like many documentary films, it has a slow pace but it does keep you hooked to reel you in for a real stunner.  (Another fishing pun – sorry!)  Catfish deserves it’s credits, there’s no annoying over-exaggerated camera jerks and the random art shots between frames are certainly not pretentious.  Reality documentaries (especially ones involving facebook) don’t get more thrilling than this.  So maybe my first statement above could summarise the film – ‘strange’ being the main adjective – just don’t expect it to be ‘spooky’ in a angry poltergeist sort of way.

I don’t want to say what you should expect before watching the film because it needs to be watched with no previous presumptions, like I had.  It’s fascinating due to the fact it is all true – and perhaps a first for reality documentary films – it’s, coldly, believable.

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