“Everyone is being followed”
A rather successful foray into the world of internet chatrooms, somewhat akin to Enda Walsh’s Chatroom, Mike Walsh’s uwantme2killhim invites descriptors such as darkly compelling and timely as it follows two teenagers sucked into a morass of online deception. Directed by Andrew Douglas, it takes a fairly traditional approach to representing digital communication – they speak as they type, which let’s face it, a lot of us do anyway – but the complications thrown up by their actions are thoroughly modern.
Based loosely on a true story, the film opens with Joanne Froggatt’s fervent Detective Inspector trying to work out why Mark has stabbed John, a schoolmate supposed to be his friend. We then loop back to the beginnings of Mark’s venturing into chatrooms and in particular with his friendship with Rachel, who turns out to John’s older sister. She’s in a witness protection program and has a violent boyfriend but Mark has fallen head over heels and will do anything for her. And ultimately he does do anything for her.
Jamie Blackley is excellent as Mark, slowly but surely unravelling as his grip on his sanity is loosened first by Jaime Winstone’s Rachel and then later by Liz White’s enigmatic Janet. Being easily manipulated by attractive older women may seem a little clichéd but Blackley sells it well. And he’s paired effectively with Toby Regbo’s John, bullied at school until Mark takes him under his wing, his growing confidence proves to be a key development in the way the story unfolds. A good job all round.