The short film, ZWART, from ScreamFest 2020, reminds you not to give up too much information when you’re doing something online. Oftentimes we get caught up in the lure of the internet and we don’t realize what bad things can happen.
It’s directed by Tommie Geraedts and written by Roy van Kessel and Arthur Menko. It stars: Rienus Krul, Julia Van de Graaff, and Belle Venema.
ALERT SPOILERY REVIEW!
The film starts off completely normal with a man, Ronnie, looking at comics and also looking up airline tickets for a convention he wants to attend. He then eventually has to answer a few verification questions after having to make a password. The questions begin to get really weird and highly inappropriate but he gets carried away and answers them all. A friend request pops up from a random woman and he accepts it. The woman then begins to take over all his electronics like phones, the computer, and watches. We realize that this woman is the operating system and he created her with those answers to the weird verification questions. Ronnie starts frantically trying to stop it all before his wife sees it. Meanwhile, his wife had just read Fifty Shades of Grey and was getting frisky with him.
I loved the darkness of ZWART. It didn’t shy away from showing us what can happen when we don’t pay attention to what we share online. It got straight to the point. The direction was fantastic. It had a horror movie feeling while also being a psychological thriller. The way director, Tommie Geraedts was able to weave reality with the operating system was stunning. The three actors: Rienus Krul, Julia Van de Graaff, and Belle Venema were quite great. Rienus Krul conveyed about, what felt like, 75 different emotions during the tense moments where he’s trying to stop this woman from taking over all the electronics, so his wife wouldn’t notice. Belle Venema was very mesmerizing as the operating system turned human.
I can’t stop thinking about it, because now I’m just wondering how many times I’ve perhaps gotten too personal with how I’ve answered questions on the internet. Have you ever been too personal on the web?