– By MovieCritic NextDoor
Technology has made it easier than ever to meet people. A few clicks and a couple of swipes and you can find people looking for friendships, long-term relationships, casual flings — any sort of connection you can think of. These days, everyone can find love! But don’t let the eHarmony ads fool you — it really isn’t that simple. Sometimes all the apps and dating sites in the world won’t let you find ‘the one’. Sometimes that doesn’t happen until you trip over nothing and literally land at the feet of your future significant other in an embarrassing heap.
In Streamer, Jared (Jared Bratt) knows all about this. At 28, he’s never been in a serious relationship and can’t understand why. It’s probably because whenever he thinks no one is looking at him he immediately develops a thousand-yard stare and looks rather like a serial killer choosing his next victim, but that might be just me. But there are women who write to serial killers in prison, so there must be some out there who wouldn’t mind that, right? He just can’t seem to find them, and he’s understandably upset.
Much of his time is spent looking longingly at camgirls and their online channels — specifically one particular camgirl (Tanya Lee), who says that he can call her Ivy. He’s clearly obsessed with her — and then, to his astonishment, he discovers that this woman lives in his apartment building. What are the odds? She isn’t quite like her online persona, of course, but Jared is equally fascinated with both sides of her. While he’s a struggling filmmaker, she’s an equally struggling actress, and Jared finds himself really connecting with this woman. When things go awry, Jared isn’t sure how to cope.
Now, I like a good slow build of tension in my dramas. This film definitely has that, but unfortunately it’s often too slow, especially once the inevitable ending becomes clear. It’s probably because it was originally a short that was later extended to feature film length, and much like Dark Cove it wasn’t extended in the best possible way. I sometimes found my attention wandering despite the film’s good points.
And it certainly does have good points: the acting is stellar, with Bratt both sorrowful and scary as reluctant loner Jared, and Lee showing impressive range as “Ivy” moves back and forth between her online and real world personas. The dialogue and situations are wonderfully realistic, even when the situations may or may not be real, and the constant social pressures of living an unhappily single life are sympathetically portrayed. Overall I’ll go with four out of five — with the caveat that more impatient viewers should probably look elsewhere for their suspense.