As if services like Chatroulette weren't sketchy enough, director and co-writer Zachary Donohue had to go and add murder and mayhem to the mix. IFC Midnight released 'The Den' trailer, and after this, you might not want to stalk the shadowy platforms of the web again ... just to be safe.
Melanie Papalia ('Endgame') stars in 'The Den' as that innocent girl just looking to make friends on a Chatroulette-esque site (which, of course, isn't Chatroulette) because apparently nobody told her to be on guard for those surprise encounters with men getting their rocks off. But events quickly become something out of a 'Law & Order: SVU' episode (in fact, we're pretty sure this exact scenario happened on 'SVU') when she witnesses the murder of a young woman on video chat.
From the official logline for 'The Den':
After receiving a grant for her graduate thesis, Elizabeth Benton (Melanie Papalia) logs onto a video-chat site known as THE DEN, on a mission to explore the habits of its users. During one of her random video-chats, Elizabeth watches in horror as a teenage girl is gruesomely murdered in front of her webcam. While the police dismiss it as a viral prank, Elizabeth believes what she saw is real and takes it upon herself to find the truth. Her life quickly spirals out of control as she gets pulled deeper into the darkest recesses of the internet. And eventually, Elizabeth finds herself trapped in a twisted game in which she and her loved ones are targeted for the same grisly fate as the first victim.
Out of all the excuses for using the found-footage template to enhance a story, this one actually seems like one of the more appropriate circumstances, given the premise, and could very well be an interesting ride for horror fans.
'The Den' will hit select theaters and VOD on March 14.