death vlogger


Vlogger Graham is desperate to achieve Internet fame, but gets more than he bargained for when some minor but apparently genuine poltergeist action is accidentally caught on an unrelated video. As he is catapulted into notoriety, the ensuing investigation into what’s going on soon spirals out of anybody’s ability to control, while a documentary pieces together what happened after the fact.

Sometimes when a film is made with limited resources you need to be forgiving of the associated production restrictions, which can often leave a lot to be desired regardless of the enthusiasm with which the film was made. But despite Death of a Vlogger being such a creation, such considerations aren’t required to be able to appreciate it. Not only are an assortment of flashy effects unnecessary for its compellingly simple story, had they been included they would have proved an unwelcome distraction.

Told in visual epistolary, the unusual structure takes a little while to properly establish itself, but once it does it becomes an integral aspect of what makes the film so memorable. Everything the viewer sees is presented as a recording, be it one of Graham’s videos, talking head interviewees discussing the escalating situation, recordings of meetings between various people both open and clandestine, and other online denizens offering their opinion on developing revelations.

The lo-fi ghost house antics really shouldn’t work in any kind of eerie capacity, but with the film presenting itself as straightforward reality, the viewer is able to accept any apparent supernatural activity as having no other explanation. Familiar horror movie shots abound throughout, but are crafted in such a manner that they are still disquieting, the proxy fear invoked through the lens of the host seeping through to infect the viewer with its insidious contagion. Even moments leading to a telegraphed jump scare manage to remain unsettling, since it’s not entirely clear at what point it will be thrown at you.

There is an ongoing ambiguity over whether or not the events are real or being faked, and in the proxy discussion the film also touches upon just how much it would mean to some people if concrete proof of life after death were discovered.

As the scale of the happenings begin to escalate you become genuinely concerned for Graham’s ultimate safety. It’s partly due to his lack of inclusion in any of the documentary segments, which makes you consider the decidedly finite number of possibilities that could account for his absence, and also on account of the film’s very title and the lack of available ambiguity in its interpretation.

Death of a Vlogger is a sinister and compelling tale of how perception affects the nature of an observed reality, and an example of just how gripping a moviegoing experience can be crafted out of a simple idea with enough creativity and imagination.