Socialphobia (2015) KMovie Review: Watch Korean Internet Trolls Roam

Socialphobia (2015) KMovie Review

 #소셜포비아 #Socialphobia

“Techno-thrillers” movies or more accurately “Techno- phobia” movies have a long history of doing a job on the public mindset regarding new developing technologies while totally getting most details about those technologies wrong.

Socialphobia” (2015) is proudly following those movies’ footsteps. It is a straight “Techno- phobia” movie that shows an awful lot of “Twitter” screens through its 102 minute run time. I think there are 15 minutes of just tweets on screen in total. And to be frank, those tweets are the more interesting parts of the movie.  The saying goes…

There is no such thing as bad publicity!

And I would say that I wanted to use Twitter more after watching this movie which goes against what this silly movies wants to say.

The Plot!

Scooby Doo,
Where Are You?
Socialphobia (2015) is part “Scooby-Doo” gang preteen detective movie, part “Hackers” (1995), and part “Stand by me” (1986) with a “Clockwork orange” (1971) vibe.


Hackers” (1995)

Stand by me” (1986)

Clockwork orange” (1971)

Basically, the movie starts with an internet “Twitter” flame war between this girl and a group of early 20s guys. Before anything, all of the characters in the movie are “Trolls”…I mean of the internet variety. None of the characters are, let’s say, innocent of being that! This gang of early 20s guys starts internet stalking her until they find out where the girl is staying and goes to crash her place while streaming online video.

These are our protagonists!
Ladies and Gentlemen

When swarming to the girl’s place like starving hyenas, they find the girl hanging from the ceiling by a “LAN” cable.

Do hyenas swarm?
In any case, just imagine the gang from the movie “Clockwork orange” (1971)
But less rape-y!
Well just a little less

So, after this incident, because of a combination of selfish motivations including being bored, the gang bumbles around to find who killed the girl even though there is no evidence that she was killed.


Being Indie does not let you off for a stupid script!
Pushing aside the whole fear mongering aspect of the movie, Socialphobia (2015) is a stupid story. I mean the actually story is not only cliché but the actually detecting part of the story is incompetent as the gang really just bumbles around and should not really go anywhere because they are just idiots. It is only because the script uses coincidence to force any kind of progression that the story movies on. If this was not a Korean movie, the gang would just end up smoking a huge amount of weed and masturbating the whole movie.  

Where are Seth Rogen and James Franco when you need them?

Thus, the detective stuff is just


And, to be frank, the movie is not that interested in the actual murder case since it has utterly no interest in the victim. The only information you get about this woman are internet rumors except for one scene in which you get an exposition dump via another woman’s “hearsay” testimony. In fact, the movie deliberately does not show the victim’s face until  almost the end where we see a picture or two. But I do not really know why the movie even bothered with this since it does not really make a difference.

Girls on the Internet are not People!

If you think about it, Socialphobia (2015) has a strong vibe of Misogyny to it. Through the movie, there are only two female characters in the movie. One is a victim and the other is an extra who is in one scene.  This victim is really only portrayed as this socially awkward “bitch” who was also a victim. The rest of the actually important characters are all men in their early 20s. From them, I could not help but grab a figurative “Rape” gang image from them.

“Rape” gang

So, none of the characters are viewed in a kind light. This touches on the purpose of the movie which is to say that all people, mostly men and some women, who are heavily into social media are weirdos at best and, at worst, are monsters that would destroy good non-“tweeting” folk.

What Characters? There are no characters in the movie!
While I have problems with this purpose, I can roll with it. I am not a person who is Squamish about an opinion. However, because of this purpose, the characters in this movie lack any kind of characterization other than being in this gang.

I have problems with this!

It took me 30 minutes to be able to recognized who the main protagonist is and an hour to grasp what his role was in the story. Considering I am a Korean and most Koreans do not look all a like for me, this is a problem.

As a side note, the main protagonist’s role is as the straight guy of the gang that helps the audience ease into the crazy world of “Twitter” trolls. There is barely any difference between him and the other trolls that I could not get that until half of the movie had passed. This lack of character definition also goes for all of the other paper thin characters.

A director’s show case!
Even though the script is just terrible, you can just see that the director of the movie was far better than what the script deserved. The director seems to have known exactly what this movie was and done the utmost to work with it.

This should not be weird since the director also wrote the movie.

For one thing, the pacing of the movie never really bogs down in the dull dialogue and scenes put on paper. The movie keeps moving at a consistent pace. In regards to the visuals, the movie does a lot with its limited budget as the screen is filled with normal places in Korea that were filmed to give off a monstrous dungeon like vibe of Korean internet trolls. I would actually recommend the movie if you want to get gimps of a side of Korean society not shown a lot albeit exaggerated.

In regards to the acting, none of the actors have much screen presence and much acting talent. However, they did what was required of them by the terrible script which is not the result of them but the direction of the director.

Finally, while I got bored with all the Twitter screens in the movie, I have to say that the director did a lot of work to make tweeting seem interesting on screen even though he failed ultimately.

As a side note, when did using the computer mouse deemed not to be cool? This is just one of the recent movies that totally ignore the existence of the computer mouse in favor of the coolness of typing on a keyboard.

Just saying…
The computer mouse is COOL!

At the end
“Socialphobia” (2015) is basically about internet trolls eating each other because “Twitter” is evil. That’s what the movie boils down to. The Internet and “Twitter” is just a hellish space of gossip and hatred. While I do not totally disagree with this statement, the movie does not go beyond this superficial “Luddite” view of technology.

It does not go deeper than blaming technology for all the shittiness of Koreans on the internet. I would go further and say Koreans were shitty even before the internet.


Ultimately, while the movie had some interesting directorial efforts put into it, I was rather bored throughout. And it is not because it was an indie movie or anything. It was just that the script was not good.

Thus, I give the movie a C.

Score: C or 4.5/10
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1 comment:

  1. LOL! I totally bumped into your reviews today and I was lmao while reading this one. I'm glad you put a lot of humour in it. I enjoyed it so much that I really want to give it a try and watch the film, at least as far as I can go, regarding your critic. (Indeed, you were right, there's no such thing as bad publicity)
    Of course, this is not the only reason for watching it; I'm also curious to figure out if your commentary about misogyny and stuff is based on true facts, 'cause it sounded a bit exaggerating. Nevertheless, since I 'm not Korean I might have a different aspect of the story. So, I'll be back...
    I also find you 're often exceedingly harsh in your critic, especially upon actors/actresses. Saying that one's got no talent actually means "stop working as an actor", which is much different than "you're way too young and inexperienced" or "put some effort for the god of acting's sake!" or "poor guy/girl, your director left you all alone with no lead at all". I just mention it since I' ve read such critic of yours towards actors who, I think, have some potential and have shown some acting skills in the past. (Shin Se Kyeong is an exception...)
    Sorry for my long comment...

    PS: I'm sorry to read from you that Koreans are shitty anyway, they surely have issues, but I wanted to think otherwise (like, say,"it's just a minority" or "it's just a problem magnified on big screen" etc).