An Unbiased and Completely True Review Of..."Deadcon"
So What's It All About?
At an unspecified period in the 1990s, when the internet was just beginning to become the publicly accessed phenomenon it has become now, an anonymous software programmer sits before a computer while talking on the phone with who is assumed to be his employer. This programmer is attending a software conference of some kind where he has failed to garner interest in his online chat portal named Link Rabbit. His employer informs him that the project is now defunct, and they are pulling the plug on it. At this moment, the computer receives a message from "Bobby", who the programmer assumes is somewhere at the office messing around with him. Bobby asks if he can talk to friends, to which the programmer types back that the Link Rabbit software is done and the camera cuts out.
We are next in any given day of 2019/2020, in the same hotel where a new conference is occurring, this one being ViewCon, the convention/conference for YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, etc, influencers and 'celebrities' meet and speak to the fans. We are introduced to AKA Ashley, a YouTube type influencer who deals with fashion and makeup and the like, and her overbearing and frankly rude manager (handler? friend?). Ashley, through a reservation mix up, is forced to stay in a room the staff doesn't talk about nor like going to, a room that is supposedly haunted. Ashley starts acting odd, and we find out that she has been possessed by something or someone. Just as the plot regarding Ashley and her possession is starting to move on, we shift our gears to Megan Byte, another 'celebrity' attending the 'Con.
Megan has some issues of her own, cheating on her long time influencer boyfriend, and dealing with the pitfalls of stardom that come with her public persona. People start dying, things get crazy, and everything ends badly for everyone.
So What Do I Think?
Oh for the love.
Had I not stumbled onto this movie (which happened to the first in line of Netflix's Horror category), I doubt I would have watched it given the description. I have no idea what the fascination is with YouTube influencers is. People making videos talking about the shoes they like, or opening boxes just seems banal. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that something like this convention or conference exists in real life, as it would seem that the world would embrace the vapidity of these so called celebrities in a group setting in which people will shell out money to listen to them expound on the benefits of this light, or this camera, and how it makes their makeup application video pop.
A movie about a malevolent spirit who is just in search of friends (and by friends we mean people that it can kill and absorb) should work out as a cheesefest that would be fun to watch. That is not the case here. Both Ashley and Megan are twenty-somethings which long dark hair, and a similar fashion sense, so are inevitably both interchangeable, and very confusing to see on screen. Additionally, most of the rest of the cast is machine gunned into the movie at such a rapid pace, it is difficult to get who they are and the relationship they have with character x. About the only consistency in characters is the hotel staff, in particular Warren, who had seen the ghost in his early days working at the hotel, and is the linchpin of communication with the Convention goers and what is happening to them. Even then, the character is fairly two dimensional and doesn't really offer anything of a helpful nature during the events.
All of the 'celebrities' attending the convention were dull and really vapid, acting pretty much like the spoiled online, egocentric people they are. There is no character development for these individuals, it is completely cardboard cutout, superficial personalities presented to the viewer on the screen. So, when all of the bad stuff begins to happen to them, it really doesn't make an impact to the viewer. I could care less if they are murdered or possessed or cheating on their significant other.
The motivation for the ghost to do what it does throughout the film was a flimsy excuse at best. I wasn't sure when or why this 'spirit' actually came to life, began haunting the hotel, or when it decided to become evil. Was it the time when the initial programmer was in the hotel? Was it last week? We don't know, and truth be told, I could care less. There is far too much going on here to make it remotely coherent and it is at best, a good try by the film makers to create something worth watching.
There is a nugget of a great idea under the surface here, and I wish that instead of moving through too many characters, the creators instead focused solely on Ashley for the duration of the film, given her an arc that would have justified everything that happened. Have the film take place in the hotel during the convention and all, but focus only on her and the ghost, all happening after hours, when nobody is there to witness anything and her stories are taken lightly.
Overall, it was a chore getting through this film. I actually stopped halfway through, went onto something else and returned to drudge the back half a day later. I can't recommend this film even as a so bad it's good film, because it really, truly isn't.