Popular YouTube star AKAshley (Lauren Elizabeth) is making a guest appearance at ViewCon, a social media convention where online influencers take part in panels, meet-and-greets with fans and all the usual convention shenanigans. Things get off to a rocky start when she discovers she’s been double booked at her hotel with another YouTuber. Not one to share, she’s able to get the manager of the fully booked hotel to move her into suite 2210A — a room that has been off limits for the last three decades.
It doesn’t take long for Ashley to learn why the room hasn’t been used. It gets trashed, it’s incredibly cold and eventually, she gets attacked by something that may or not be a creepy little child named Bobby (Judah Mackey). As it turns out, this hotel was home to a terrible tragedy back in 1984 at another convention, TechCon. What exactly happened, no one knows, but kids went missing and bloody handprints were left behind. Also, a mylar balloon shaped like a rabbit is involved.
This is the basic premise for Deadcon, a rather generic horror film that made its world premiere at Cinepocalypse. It’s best described as a super toned down version of The Shining made for pre-teens that have grown up with YouTube as their primary source of entertainment. And honestly, that makes it sound better than it is.
There are a number of problems with Deadcon, the worst of which is that it feels incomplete. It’s almost as if the filmmaker’s had a number of ideas that were tossed around and instead of fleshing one out into a coherent story, they just ran with all of them.
Whatever happened in 1984 happened in this hotel room. So does that mean we’re going to get a repeat with the new guests? Well, not exactly because not all victims are in that room. Ok, well what happened in 1984 occurred at a technology-based convention and the current events are taking place at a technology-based convention. So then it must have something to do with technology? Well, not all the victims have anything to with technology.
The movie gives you all these threads and makes you think that it will all come together and be connected in somewhere, but nothing ever materializes. Every new thread just leads you down to a dead end. And then the movie just ends with no real resolution. It’s highly disappointing.
One online influencer, Dave (Keith Machekanyanga), catches wind of something going on and attempts to stop it. As he tries to research what happened all those years ago, he somewhat humorously Google searches “bobby 1984” to which he finds no results. However, if you actually run a Google search for “bobby 1984” you will find plenty of results, many of which are about a serial killer in Florida named Bobby. The problem with Dave is that you can’t even root for him because the only reason he knows something strange is going on is that he secretly recorded himself having sex with the girl he’s seeing without her permission. That’s shitty behavior Dave, and you deserve whatever is coming your way.
Despite my complaints, Deadcon is not all bad. There are some creepy moments. I don’t know what the kid and his bunny balloon represent, but they are creepy, I’ll give them that. There’s also a very brief moment during Dave’s research where he watches a small promo video on something called LinkRabbit. We learn a little bit about LinkRabbit, which is in some way connected to Bobby and his balloon, and it’s basically described as what would have been the first social media website, but it was shut down before launching.
An interesting tidbit I noticed is that the film actually uses Google, YouTube, and Instagram. Typically films of this ilk make up their own knockoff names, but that wasn’t the case this time around.
At the end of the day, Deadcon is fine. It’s an inoffensive, incomplete, generic social media thriller. If you have a younger sibling, and it doesn’t matter how old you are or how old they are, they’ll probably like this, because Deadcon absolutely feels like a movie younger siblings would like.
Deadcon made its world premiere at Cinepocalypse 2019.