Dear David

Dear David
Dear David
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In 2017, David began to haunt the internet when Adam Ellis, a BuzzFeed illustrator made posts on Twitter claiming that he was living through a series of paranormal activities at his apartment. The story gained much attention in several social media platforms with followers waiting eagerly for periodic updates and seeing interesting photographs.

Given how popular the thread became, it is no surprise that a movie was made to share Adam’s (and David’s) story. However, if you expected Dear David to be an absolutely faithful adaptation of the tale you were wrong. By taking artistic license and incorporating some of the original haunting’s most iconic moments into the storyline Dear David has got people talking and excited unnecessarily.

If you liked Cameron Nicoll’ s portrayal of David as just another kid who lives next door until the cause of his death is revealed,(which is what happened in my case) then you will not like this film either because it does not use this premise. His death becomes associated with his computer usage, which is how the movie shows David’s presence in Adam Ellis’ life. Without giving too much away, think more Friend Request rather than Paranormal Activity when imagining what Dave looks like.

This movie also uses cliché themes such as bad online bullies and crazy people locked up in institutions to come up with its version of David’s personality. Nothing further can be added to these developments except that they only paint him as dark and menacing as possible. Although it doesn’t make you look at Dave any differently since he seems to live solely online, this information gives viewers one more thing.

The only moment in film where there was something really “scary” about it was when Adam had sleep paralysis. These scenes were some of the best parts I felt in this film because they show us how scared Adam was due to increased hauntingness in his life and how he has become obsessed with it over time till becoming completely consumed by it. Yet still these work in the story but they do not frighten the viewers enough.

On the other hand, some of these original story details are borrowed directly from, such as his rocking chair and cats going to the door. They don’t read as scary or creepy, rather than just a bunch of things happening to Adam. Therefore, there might be fans who are disappointed by it.

The main theme in Dear David is about opening up yourself to others and living in the present. As an internet recluse, Adam hides behind his computer screen drawing comics to show off at trolls while refusing to let his parents meet his partner. This begins affecting him more deeply especially when he starts withdrawing from people and isolating himself further as he tries to figure out David’s motive and goes deeper into the rabbit hole.

Instead of using the story to show why it is important for people to open up and be present especially in today’s world that is technology driven, we end up being lost in ambiguity as David tries further isolating Adam away from online. Though unintentional, this is a mixed message with both of them telling Adam to reach out and push people away creating confusion with David’s intensions. Is David trying to force Adam leave the internet? Is David trying to isolate Adam? The worst part about it all is that we cannot tell what exactly happens in the end which makes the story boring.

The real stars of Dear David are Augustus Prew and Justin Long. While cliché-ridden, Prew captures every bit of terror and disorientation that come along with his encounters with the Dear David account. More so, his changing facial expressions help portray more fully his emotions and thoughts as he faces each new problem, especially when he starts feeling increasingly helpless.

Justin Long plays Adam’s boss at Buzzfeed who provides some much needed comic relief throughout the movie. Any time Long comes on screen represents a break from monotony, particularly as he continues thinking that Adam just dreams up these incidents regarding Dear David. He once asks how Adam thinks it will end but when asked by this haunted man if he knows, laughs him off thinking it’s all part of the act. The actor does an amazing job but is wasted here.

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