People say a picture can tell a thousand words. The film, Catfish, proves that a picture can also tell a thousand lies. Catfish is a gripping story that will have you on the edge of your seat. The scariest part: it’s a true story. This documentary follows a Facebook user, Nev, who spends eight months of his life living a horror story. The plot of the movie is frighteningly realistic, and the twists will leave you with an unsettled stomach.
Catfish was filmed in 2007 by New Yorkers Ariel Schulman, and Henry Joost. Ariel’s brother, Nev, was the subject of this movie. Nev, a professional photographer, had recently become internet companions with a family out in Ishpeming, Michigan. Ariel and Henry began filming the evolving relationship between Nev and this family, when things took a tragic turn for the worse. The filmed released in September of 2010, and was initially viewed as a “Mockumentary,” because audiences thought the story was too good to be true. However, Ariel and Nev swear that the film is 100 percent truth, and displayed every event just as it happened. The movie has gotten numerous great reviews, including a rating of 82% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The movie begins with a summary of the relationship between Nev and this family. Nev’s photography skills caught the eyes of Abby Faccio, and her mother Angela Wesselman. Nev was contacted on Facebook by Abby, who was eight years old at the time, and an established painter. Abby told Nev how interested she was in his artwork, that she wanted to make water color paints of some of his stuff. The relationship progressed between Nev and this family, and Nev started to grow interest in Abby’s sister, Megan. Everything seemed to be going well, until something fishy (no pun intended) happened. The relationship between Nev and Megan took a turn for the worse, as Nev traveled out to Ishpeming to learn about this mysterious family.
The key moment of this movie occurred when Nev, Henry, and Ariel were in Vail, Colorado. Megan had been showing Nev “her” songs for a while on Facebook, and Nev wanted to test her ability to record quickly. He asked Megan to send him a song, and within twenty minutes Megan had recorded and sent the song to Nev. He was astonished at how great the song sounded, and what a good voice Megan had. Then he looked up the title of the song on Youtube, and saw that it was the exact same song, exact same voice, and exact same length. When Nev confronted Megan about it, she got very defensive and stuck with her claim that it really was her. This struck a chord with Nev, and he knew he had to get to the bottom of this secretive family. He packed up his suitcase in Vail and headed to Ishpeming with his brother and Henry, where he discovered the truth about the family.
I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone, especially people on Facebook. I think it is especially realistic and shocking to Facebook users, because many people have received Friend Requests from people they don’t know, and this movie really exposes the alarming effects of allowing strangers to look at your page. I have never been a fan of documentaries, because I think they are extremely boring. However this film is an exception, because the story is almost too good to be true. It is filled with cliff-hangers, and ties waiting to be fixed. I would give it a four star rating, and call it a “must-see” for anyone on a social networking site.