With teenagers turning to social media apps more and more, the real-life danger that comes along online dating is an increasing epidemic.
Do Not Reply was written and directed by the father and son duo of Walter and Daniel Woltosz.
The film follows Chelsea (Amanda Arcuri) who is a shy but smart high school student. Her best friend Mia (Ivon Millan) is busy with her new boyfriend, Dylan (Curran Walters), and at home, it is Chelsea’s sister who is getting all the attention. When she starts getting attention online from 17-year old Brad (Jackson Rathbone), she becomes flattered and enamored quickly.
When the two meet face to face at a Halloween party, things seem to be going well. That is, until Brad drugs Chelsea and she wakes up in the basement of an unknown house. Brad comes down with a plate of food and informs the girl that her name is Sadie. Chelsea corrects him and gets slapped. She is again told that her name is Sadie.
Once that is established, she is given a tour of her new home. There are two other girls other, also named “Sadie,” and that the chores will be divided between them all. Brad also forces each one of them to dye their hair blonde and only wear cheerleader uniforms. Chelsea longs to escape and figures the best way to do that is to try and understand why she, and the others, was taken in the first place.
The film is a thrilling hidden gem that has gone unwatched by many fans of the genre. It’s powerful message about the dangers of online dating and sexting ring true especially right now when so many people are forced into using social media as an outlet during quarantine. Sure the premise might be a little over the top, but the danger is very real.
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