In 2020, news of a brutal, far-reaching crime shook South Korea; crime with hundreds of victims, even more perpetrators and dire consequences and consequences. It was also a deeply unusual case: It took place almost exclusively online. Directed by Choi Jin-seong, Netflix’s latest real crime documentary Cyber Hell: Internet Horror Revealed it depicts these real events and the ensuing horrific investigation that bites its nails.
The Internet horror began in the so-called “Nth Room”, a private chat space in the Telegram messaging app. A mysterious character called “Baksa” used Nth Room to phishing personal information from mostly underage women, doxed it, and then blackmailed it to share sexually explicit content that other anonymous members would buy using cryptocurrency.
Once upon a time, Kim Wan, a journalist for a Korean newspaper Hankyoreh, alerted to Baks’ cruel acts via an anonymous e-mail, he and his team launched insane scrambles to expose Baksa and end the Nth Chamber once and for all. Regardless of the task, there was also a group of student journalists, several anonymous hackers and cyber police officers.
It’s no secret that our society is crazy about real crime stories. That’s why streamers like Netflix produce new criminal content fast enough to make you dizzy. The content is more often disinfected with the atmosphere of familiar, Cliffhanger excitement and seductive reenactments. Sometimes it is even fully dramatized to maximize fun (see recent hits Girl from Plainville and Staircase). We enjoy these stories because they are ugly and exciting, disgusting and exciting. But it’s hard to deny that the real crime is hard for many to bear unless it goes through the numbing filter of the apparent television structure or Colin Firth.
But Cyber hell he doesn’t have these filters, and if he had them, it would be a disservice to his material. This is not the type of documentary about the real crime that viewers are used to. It’s dark, steadfast, and deeply disturbing. Most of them are spent with people who clearly describe the torture that many young girls underwent from a group of sadistic men. The Telegram also features previews of victims who are drawn into phishing schemes, with messages that appear quickly, as if it were all happening in real time – reminiscent of a slowed-down car wreck that you can’t stop. The tone reflects the content, and it undoubtedly does Cyber hell uncomfortable watch will definitely also impress.
Of course not All that Cyber hell has to offer. There are also moments that give us a much needed break from this raw, violent material: Dramatized vignettes, including a woman floating in water, and colorful animations of the city. These types of scenes often appear in documents and here effectively help to emphasize the dark and unfortunate tone.
But this film does not necessarily require tonal assistants, who have such a general shape. Cyber hell starts on the chat screen and in the third minute of the movie we watched the successful phishing. As I watched the scam unfold, I almost wondered if it would be an experience based solely on the interface, such as the documentary version of Screen Life movies, such as Unfriendly or Search. This is not going to happen in the end, which is probably for the better, because the interviews with Wan and other journalists are fascinating in themselves and do a great job of emphasizing the moral obscurity that spreads when watching a case like this – especially when its attackers threaten. that they will hurt their victims if you go public with their story.
However, the initial presence of the interface questions whether Internet images would be a more suitable replacement for dramatization or animation. Really, in a documentary about the horrors of the Internet, what could be scarier than being brought back to, well … the Internet?
But for the most part Cyber hellThe plot is simple and effective. However, there is a small problem in the English subtitles department – the translations often appear in the middle of the sentence, which disrupts the otherwise careful pace of the film. Subtitles also often switch from the bottom and top of the screen, leaving the viewer in danger of escaping some important things. But if you can overlook these technical recklessnesses (after a while you get used to it), a sober and frightening ride awaits you, told clearly and calmly. Cyber hell emphasizes the dark, frightening reality that we are all exposed to simply by existing on the Internet without abusing it. It also plays with our expectations of the real criminal media – and if it forces you to doubt how easily we consume most of the content with the real crime, it can only be a valuable bonus.
Director: Choi Jin-seong
Writers: Choi Jin-seong
Date of publication: May 18, 2022 (Netflix)
Aurora Amidon is a film journalist and passionate lawyer Hostel: Part II. Follow her Twitter for her latest controversial culture.