Cyberbully, or “Cyberbu//y” as the poster calls it for some reason, is the most sadistic fun I’ve had watching a movie in a long time. I don’t even know where to begin with this piece of shit film, because there’s so many things wrong with it that it almost has some sort of grandeur creep into it. It’s what The Room would be like if it were made into a telemovie. I mean, you don’t even need to watch it to know just how shit it is… look the film up and notice the production company behind it: ABC Family. Second only to the Lifetime Channel for films that try so hard to be serious only to end up being absolutely hysterical, Cyberbu//y is just as amazing as you’d expect. If it went under your nose back in 2011 when it first came out, you could be forgiven, as it is, after all, a TV movie. In fact, it took a year or two for an infamous scene involving not being able to get a cap off to suddenly become viral. Said scene is even soundtracked to Sia’s song “Breathe Me”, for good measure.
I could probably just leave it there, and that would be a perfect summation of what this film is like, but that probably wouldn’t be very professional of me, would it?
Ah, where do I begin with a film like this…
Warning: Spoilers… but seriously don’t watch this fucking movie
How about the fact that this is based around a fictional social networking site? I mean, on the internet you can control what you do and choose what you want people to see. Somehow, the writers of this film, who clearly have access to a computer and the internet (I mean, after all, how else would a film like this be written), but don’t seem to understand that, so they had to make a fake website for this film. It’s like the bastard child of 4Chan and MySpace. It’s called Cliquesters. How subtle.
Oh speaking of subtlety, let me briefly recap the film’s first 5 minutes. Within the first two minutes the film’s message is pushed in our face with a so subtle scene of the film’s main character, played by Emily Osment, calling someone online a “brat”. Her mother comes in and asks her what she is doing, only for her to respond with “private!” only for her mother to respond with, “What you do online isn’t exactly private.” Then they drive to school and we have some extremely expository dialogue about it being Osment’s birthday and her dad moved out. We are reminded of the fact that it’s her birthday about 10 times and the fact that her dad moved out twice in ten minutes. Anyways, she gets a laptop for her birthday and in the same scene, we get a Shakespearean sonnet about how scary the internet can be. Look at how subtle this film is with its subtleness!!!!! At we are about… 7ish minutes into the movie and already the film is pushing the stereotype that women suck at computers in our face and to them, computers are basically glorified social media machines. Because basically right after that we are treated to a scene of Taylor (yeah she has a name but for some reason she’s so unmemorable that it took me this far into the movie to finally understand it) of them setting up her Cliquesters account (I feel a small part of me die every time I type that word) and they answer important questions such as “What colour is your underwear.” Subtlety, subtlety, SUBTLETY!
Anyways, so she gets a comment on her photo, and it’s a mean one. So like everyone else, she just laughs it off. Then suddenly it starts consuming everyone’s lives. Hers especially. All because of Cliquesters, she gets hit on by Stock TV Movie Jock #68 (who creepily tells her he wants bikini shots of her) and all she can think of is him. Oh wait, his name is Scott. Stupid movie, stop associating me with jocks. She even demands to be let out just so she can go home and see if Scott is online. And then in the next scene, because we haven’t already been reminded enough times:
Apparently he called the brother (yeah, she has a brother too) and left a message telling him where he is. Taylor wonders if daddy texted her, so she checks her phone and instead is told to look at her profile. So she looks at her profile and finds out someone figured out her password…
Incessant misuse of “hacked” aside, her mother tells her to take down the profile. She doesn’t.
Anyways so then she finds out her brother “hacked” her profile. Then the next scene later the gay student in front of her laments about how he has gay slurs slung at him. How does she respond?
Anyways, I won’t delve into more detail-frais because this film is so fucking confusing and poorly written. By the end of the movie you won’t know who is bullying who. In fact I think I covered the “poorly written” part already, but I haven’t gotten into just how confusing it is yet. I mention how confusing it is because we are supposed to sympathize with Taylor, but she constantly blames others for things she does and is abusive to others as Well. And as we just saw above how she undermines gay bashing because being called a “slut” online is apparently worse. I mean come on, SHE DOES IT TO OTHER PEOPLE IN PERSON SEVERAL FUCKING TIMES THROUGHOUT THE MOVIE.
Another reason this movie fails is because it makes the internet look as if its responsible for the majority of bullying. I mean, as I mentioned above, the beauty of the internet is that you can control what you post. And I don’t doubt that cyberbullying is a thing and can be a reality for many people, but the film limits it to comments like being called a “slut and a whore“. This film doesn’t even go so far as to have people having uncompromising pictures spread around. Now I get that this aired on a family channel, but if you’re going to limit it to name calling then that’s just foolish. But what do I know, there’s laws against stuff like this, right? I mean, I hate to sound insensitive, and I know this may not be rubbing well with a lot of you reading this but let me ask you something: Just how many of you remember when “Friday” by Rebecca Black was released? Did you post something negative about her? I mean, even when she made songs like “My Moment” she still got unfathomable levels of hate. I bet that nowadays she really doesn’t give two shits what we say about her. Speaking of which, what does she, Nickelback, Justin Bieber, One Direction and Gwyneth Paltrow have in common? They’re all cool to hate. So, with that in mind, should there be laws against saying bad things about Gwyneth Paltrow? She’s a person too… and I think it’d be pretty hypocritical of you to think not.
But even that aside the film still blows. The acting is pure shit from start to finish. Emily Osment overacts every single line she recites. None of the other actors seem to even have any remote interest in their riles and set about with the vigour of a bunch of old people dancing. The soundtrack is also complete shit. I mentioned above that a “dramatic” scene was set to Sia’s “Breathe Me”. Yeah, that song has been used in EVERY FUCKING MOVIE EVER. It was very effectively used in the series finale of Six Feet Under, but since then it got used to death to the point where using it in your movie is just as much of a death sentence as using “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap. That song aside, the rest is teen alt-rock bullshit that sometimes will drown the dialogue out. The plotting and characterization are so fucking confusing that by the end you won’t know who is bullying who, or worse, why you should give a fucking shit.
Overall do not watch this movie unless you need a laugh in the, “Oh my god that is terrible” way. It works as a comedy and not as the depressing drama it was intended to be. Believe you me I’ve even seen episodes of Spongebob more dramatic than this. AVOID.
Movie Rank - 4/10
Only watch Cyberbully as a comedy, and nothing more.