Directed by: Lukas DiSparrow Starring: Jon Duffy, Matthew Wright-Kenny, Sandra Michelle, Nikki Amory and Anette Martinsen Short Film Review by: Rachel Pullen
People seem to really like YouTube, that’s a thing right? You can watch cats knock stuff off a table or celebrities shoplifting stuff they can afford then throwing their $5 Starbucks coffees at photographers faces, or you can be like me and watch 13 year old boys review Yankee candles. Now if that sounds weird you’re a fool because it’s the funniest shit I have ever watched, they god damn love them candles.
YouTube is a romantic place, it makes me think how people envisioned the American dream in the 50’s, it’s a place where people think they can make a tonne of money for very little work whilst being loved by many, but the reality is often very far from this.
ClickBait is the story of Ben [played by Jon Duffy] and his struggle to make it big in the over saturated world of YouTube stars, and while this is already a tough thing to have to attempt [he must suffer the same stress as fighter pilots during World War 2] what makes it harder for him is that he is living with his already YouTube established friend Luke, can you smell the jealousy?
Now Luke [played by Matthew Wright Kenny] is a good egg, he wants to help Ben out by promoting his channel, but for some reason his lady friend Melissa [played by Sandra Michelle] who is not a good egg, thinks Ben is lame and tries to stop Luke’s friendly promoting, what’s the beef Melissa? Why do you hate Ben? There is no reason for this given so I assumed he beat her loads at Connect 4 and she is being a sore loser... see bad egg.
Ever on his quest to achieve his YouTube dream Ben devises a plan to have Luke join him in one of his videos to do a moronic ‘’challenge’’ quest together, ergh even thinking about it makes me die inside, I don’t want to watch people cram crackers in their mouths, I want to watch pubescent boys smell overpriced candles. Anyway what seems like an innocent video takes a deadly turn as Ben uses it as a platform to eliminate his rival Luke [I know he was the good egg, what about getting rid of Melissa I hear you scream] and then in his moment of crowning glory, he uploads the murder of his good friend to YouTube, classic content Ben.
To be frank this short is lacking on quality acting skills, you are very aware of their limited experience in regards to scripted acting, but they push though and are really giving it their best and for that you have to give them credit, and in a way it’s almost fitting since we are looking at YouTube stars, people who appear on camera on a regular basis with no formal training and so you are truly immersed in the theme of this short.
Despite this though this short packs a punch in regards to story content, we have all seen these movies based around the internet, flicks such as Unfriended and Friend Request come to mind, and ClickBait slots in nicely to this sub genre, bringing a fresh approach with the employment of YouTube as a platform.
It’s engaging and well-paced, you are kept interested despite its low budget and rocky acting, you even come to like the characters [not you Melissa] which is credible when directing and writing a short, you are given such a small time frame to develop any kind of audience/character relationship but ClickBait delivers this in only 15 minutes.
ClickBait is witty, interesting, and fresh and on top of all that will leave you wanting to know more about these characters, but not Melissa...never Melissa.