A Guide to Social Media Horror Before “This Game Is Called Murder”

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It’s always fun to watch genre films tackle the high-tech horrors of modern times, and with social media giving us a whole new playground for digital fears, the possibilities are endless. That’s why we’re excited about the upcoming satirical thriller from writer / director Adam Sherman. This game is called murder, which promises to reveal the dark side of family, fortune and the influence of the internet.

With the legendary Ron Perlman (Hellboy, City of lost children), Natasha Henstridge (Species) and Vanessa Marano (Dexter), the synopsis for the film reads as follows:

“Mr. Wallendorf, a fashion mogul and designer of iconic red high-heeled shoes, Mrs. Wallendorf, his brutal and accomplice wife, and Jennifer Wallendorf, their daughter and a social media powerhouse just trying to figure out love, friendship and world domination.The eccentric Wallendorf’s struggle to maintain the facade of a thriving family as their violent nature tears them apart.

And to get you in the mood for Sherman’s film, which is hitting theaters and VOD on December 3, we’ve put together this handy guide to social media horror outlining four types of horror movies online and the best examples in each category!

Naturally, this is just an introduction to these thrills online, so be sure to share your own favorite examples with us in the comments below. You can also attend the Bloody Disgusting Twitter Watch Party from This game is called murder this Friday.


1. Weight hunt

Humans are biologically programmed to respond positively to social approval, so it makes sense that even virtual interactions are enough to convince our brains that we are doing something right. Of course, some people can go on to do terrible things in their quest for likes, shares, and comments, so our first category describes movies where characters go too far in the name of digital acceptance. From annoying pranks to rampant murder, you never know how far internet users are willing to go for minimal clout.

Examples:

Party (2020)

Featuring Stranger things’ Joe Keery (and also starring the inimitable David Arquette), Party tells the story of Kurt Kunkle, a ridesharing app pilot obsessed with becoming an online sensation. Desperate to go viral, Kurt equips his car with multiple cameras and begins live-streaming a series of murders in this uplifting tale for the digital age.

Daughters of tragedy (2017)

High school has always been tough, but with the added chaos of social media making adolescence even more stressful, it’s easy to see why some teens would do anything for popularity online. Tyler MacIntyre is very entertaining Daughters of tragedy takes this logic to the extreme by introducing the audience to McKayla Hooper (Alexandra Shipp) and Sadie Cunningham (Brianna Hildebrand), best friends who embark on a series of killings in hopes of attracting more followers to their blog True Crime.


2. Digital psychopaths

The Internet has made it infinitely easier for people to connect, but unlimited access to personal data comes at a cost. Less tasty people can effortlessly use social media to track down unsuspecting victims both online and in the real world. Whether they’re from the Deep Web or from the house next door, online psychopaths are a very real threat and have inspired several exciting genre films over the years.

Examples:

The den (2013)

Random chat rooms are a great showcase for the connecting power of the internet, but you never know when you’ll stumble upon something you weren’t meant to see. At Zachary Donohue The den, Elizabeth Benton (Melanie Papalia) witnesses a live murder as she researches online chat users and finds herself in the middle of a snuff movie plot. Not only is the film a realistic take on online murder, but it’s also an effective Screenlife horror piece.

Ratter (2015)

Some hackers are just looking for monetary gain, but the scariest ones have a personal obsession with their targets. This fear is what inspired Branden Kramer’s 2015 thriller Ratter, named after the practice of taking remote control of a digital device. Following an unsuspecting college student as she becomes the target of a tech-savvy stalker, this gem from Found Footage reveals how our over-reliance on technology can make us even more vulnerable.


3. Ghosts in the machine

Times change, so do our monsters, and if a house can be haunted, why not a website or an app? Cyberspace and social media may be relatively new additions to society, but there is already a huge selection of stories featuring ghosts, demons, and other supernatural entities taking over the digital realm.

Examples:

Without friend (2014)

Friendless (Image source: Universal)

It is estimated that over 30 million Facebook accounts belong to deceased users, and what could be more terrifying than receiving a message from one of these profiles? A frightening digital parable, Without friend Brilliantly exploits this fear by ensuring that a deceased teenage girl’s social media presence continues to harass her so-called friends after a tragic suicide.

Cam (2018)

Although not a traditional haunt, Isa Mazzei & Daniel Goldhaber’s Cam is a truly disturbing supernatural thriller about an aspiring camgirl who discovers her online identity stolen by a mysterious doppelganger. With a deep and disturbing dive into the weird world of online sex work and the obsessed fans keeping this community alive, the supernatural elements are only a small part of what makes this movie so creepy.


4. When the game goes wrong

Most people turn to gambling to escape the horrors of real life, but even our hobbies can be a source of turmoil in an interconnected world. From haunted video games to sadistic online challenges, these films feature characters who are forced to participate in deadly games for the entertainment of others.

Examples:

scream live (2018)

With millions of viewers engaged in dedicated communities, video game live streaming is a bigger deal than most people seem to realize. This is why I admire scream live to tap into this fascinating world and tell the story of a desperate gamer who is forced to complete a haunted video game or suffer the very real consequences.

Nerve (2016)

Inspired by real viral apps and online challenges, 2016’s Nerve explores what could happen if the latest trending app pushed its users to their limits. Starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco as a teenage couple involved in a high-stakes game of deadly challenges, the film also offers a real insight into online trends from the experience of its directors. Catfish.


Don’t forget to check This game is called murder, available in theaters and on VOD on December 3, 2021! Bloody Disgusting is hosting a Twitter Watch Party on Friday. Join us!


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