CyberBully (2015) Review

CyberBully (not to be mistaken for 2011’s ABC family’s made for TV movie of the same name), is a harrowing documentary/short film about the ins and outs of cyber bullying which focuses on  a young girl, Casey.

Casey Jacobs, a semi depressed high school student is getting ready for a night out with her ‘BFF’ Megan when she notices that her spotify account keeps playing random unrecognised songs. Casey logs into her Skype account to see if Megan is having the same problem. To Casey’s confusion Megan’s spotify seems fine but Megan suggests their friend Alex might be the culprit as he is known for hacking.   Megan then suggests that he could help get revenge on Casey’s ex boyfriend for a mean comment he posted on his twitter account.  Alex initially refuses to live up to his nickname and declines  however a brief time later, he messages Casey out of the blue and accepts the request.  From the moment Casey engages in conversation with ‘Alex’ things go from mildly odd to bone chillingly terrifying as Casey finds herself ‘victim’ to an online hacker who has tapped into her computer, webcam and her phone. The next hour or so of the film captivates the audience and reels them into the events purely from a first person perspective. Casey ultimately has to face her own underlying demons as well as take responsibility for her own cyber bullying attacks which, in the end, leave her stripped bare with not much to lose…

CyberBully for me is a fantastic and raw look into the REAL problems that society faces each and every day. CyberBullying is now the most common form of bullying and with little to no laws the struggle to tackle it is extremely difficult and complex. However I believe that this movie brings to light the sense of realism and isolation that people feel in these sorts of situations and even the viewer, who maybe has never been bullied themselves, will probably find themselves relating to Casey in some way. It is fitting to mention that this film is very different to ABC’s Cyberbully (starring Emily Osment), but the raw emotion and messages of awareness and consequence are still at the forefront. This movie does do something extra though, it gives the viewer the chance to witness both sides of the coin. One side being the victim (Casey) then the other being the realisation that in fact Casey is just as bad, if not worse, than her anonymous hacker. Irony at its best may I add.

The obvious message and point of the story aside, I have to commend the acting of Maisie Williams as Casey. There were times that I felt I was meant to be unsympathetic towards her but I just couldn’t be. The way she pulled me in and made me feel so connected to her character was phenomenal. It is maybe a throw away comment as she is the only ‘physical’ character shown throughout the whole movie but for me she was the glue that kept the movie from going down the dull route that many other made for TV movies go down. The ending, which I won’t fully disclose (as I recommend you go watch it) will or should leave you with the overwhelming feeling of “Oh my god. This could happen to me…”

As I mentioned previously I’d recommend this movie to everyone but more so I’d urge young teenagers, particularly those that are involved heavily in social networking or blogging to give it a watch. So I’m talking to you. Go watch it! Do what I did and go into it with an open mind and I can almost guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

For me I give CyberBully an overall 10/10

[Highly believable, heart wrenching to the core & insanely thought provoking]

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