The Horror Honeys: The Den: In Which We Learn the Dangers of Technology

The Den: In Which We Learn the Dangers of Technology

A Slasher Honey Review by Chassity

The Den (2013)

Ah, that rarest of gems in the horror genre: the found footage slasher. It’s hard to objectively speak on a film that falls into this category, because it automatically gains points for being somewhat unique. And because when it comes to something so rare, quite frankly, it can fall into the trap of being viewed favorably just because it’s better than nothing.

With that in mind, let me state this right up front: The Den is a found footage slasher movie that, in and of itself, is entertaining, but not enough so as to be a case for why there should be more found footage movies or why there should be more found footage slasher movies. 

In fact, it’s the kind of film that you should watch at least once, but also just seeks to remind us of one of the many flaws and problems with the found footage genre. 

The Plot: Elizabeth is…maybe a college student (?) who is working on a research project. She gets a grant from the school to do a study regarding social media. The project? She… leaves her webcam on at all times and kinda talks to people in some chat room, picking and choosing who she wants to talk to and... I don’t know. Anyway, that’s her project. 

While doing her “research," Elizabeth’s computer gets hacked and her personal files start getting sent to the wrong people. But obviously that’s not the worst of it. She witnesses a murder, naturally the cops don’t believe that anything’s really wrong, and then people in Elizabeth’s life start to go missing and die, their deaths being filmed online, until finally the killer comes for Elizabeth as well. 

Oh, look, it’s that clichéd shot from almost every found footage horror movie ever.
The Good: As already mentioned, The Den is worth a watch for its entertainment value. There’s enough there that makes it suspenseful, creepy and, even thrilling during a first time viewing. 

Surprisingly enough, the acting is not bad for the most part. It’s natural, and you feel like you’re watching real people that could be your friends, people you work with every day, or the regulars you see in the coffee shop when you’re picking up your morning cup. If you’ve seen enough found footage movies, you know that this is not something to take lightly, nor is it something that can be said for even most films in this genre.

This might be the first found footage movie I’ve ever seen that I didn’t get bored with halfway through. 

The Bad: Um, how about the fact that the entire premise makes no sense. Is Elizabeth really a student? If so, why does she NEVER go to class? In fact, she never leaves her house. How can she afford such a nice house if she is a student? And what exactly in the HELL kind of project is she supposed to be doing?! She’s researching chat rooms, to study what, exactly, and what is she hoping to gain from this… experiment? It all makes no sense!

I should say, the film does try to explain this in, like, the first ten minutes, but does so poorly. I still don’t get it. It sounds like an excuse to fool around and do nothing, as well as an excuse to try to make it seem like time spent on the internet isn’t the massive waste of time that it is for the most part. 

It’s also worth mentioning that some of the slasher tropes remain intact, like pleading with the killer “why are you doing this?!” and the uselessness of the cops. 

The Ugly: The typical found footage downfalls. Headache inducing confusion that makes it hard to be sure you know what’s going on. 

Towards the climax, things get a little slow. This is the case more often than not with these types of films. But even in its slower moments, the movie never stops being enjoyable, so there’s that. 

The big thing is that this movie will make you second guess everyone you come across on the internet. In a very ugly, depressing way. 

All in all, see it. And then try to forget about it right after. Trust me. It’s for the best. 

Slasher Honey Rating: 2 ½ video chat requests out of 5 

The Den is available via Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube VOD, Google Play, & DVD

Have you seen this found footage slasher? What did you think?
Tell Chassity on Twitter: @ChassMM