The Den (2013) – Movie Review


The Den (2013) - Movie Review

Well it’s yet another step back in time for me as I cover a film I first watched about two years ago…then, in typical fashion, completely forgot about!

It was only when I reviewed Unfriended the other day that a light bulb moment hit me and I realized I’d watched a similar film many moons ago.

The problem with running this site is that I try my best to watch every Found Footage effort out there – no matter what it’s budget. After I watch a film I quickly scribble down a few review pointers and then put the sheet of paper somewhere I’ll never find it!

As most of you will already know – there’s no real timeline to the reviews I post here. If a film is in my head I’ll review it and post it – a simple recipe.

Anyway I’m starting to ramble a bit here, let’s get into the film itself…

The Plot

LA-based grad student Elizabeth Benton ( Melanie Papalia ) manages to get her hands on a grant for her thesis – she is pretty pleased about this fact!

The thesis is based upon a social study of the interactions on an online social community aptly named The Den ( we all know where this is going don’t we? ).

She goes about completely immersing herself in the social platform and recording every ‘encounter’ she has with every freak out there.

One night Elizabeth comes across a member without a webcam named Pyagrl*16. Apparently she’s knackered her camera and is only able to converse through the medium of text.

As the ( text ) conversation progresses the PC screen suddenly cuts to a young girl being brutally beaten and then murdered ( and I mean BRUTALLY! ).

Well things really start to hit the shit for Elizabeth from this point onward but I don’t really want to give the game away – I HATE spoilers as much as the next person.


When I think about it, certain Found Footage films manage to create a realism that is absolutely terrifying. This film and Megan is Missing seemed to tap into that realism without really trying – it worked and worked well in both cases.

Unfriended had a strong supernatural element to it, but this sort of thing could theoretically happen – it gave off a real sense of vulnerability that was pretty hard to shake.


Watched it twice now and loved it – don’t care what the dickheads at Roger Ebert or Metacritic say ( poor, lazy reviewers on both sites that have no real concept of what horror is or why it even works! ).

I felt I was easily able to place myself in the role of the on-screen victim ( Elizabeth in this case ) and bask in her feeling of helplessness.

It’s not too slow and it’s not too fast – the build is constructed carefully and executed perfectly.

The cinematography, much like Unfriended, was really clever and the cyber-element didn’t really put me off once.

Towards the last half of the film there were numerous tense moments with shots that didn’t feel far-fetched or overly convenient. The few gore scenes are portrayed with a masterstroke of realism and worked well on the big screen.

When I think about it, there’s no real downside to this film, it worked on just about every level.

Definitely recommend this one to any Found Footage freak.




  1. Now that you brought it up, there are many links between this and Megan is Missing, i think… I love both, but when it comes to real horror, maybe Megan is even darker with its many lengthy shots with no hope at all – jesus, it still gives me the creeps just to think about it… but The Den is very good, no question about it

    • Yeah I’m also a BIG fan of Megan is Missing – really brutal and dark stuff ( a Found Footage classic in my book! )

  2. I think I will toss heterosexuality and propose you
    “don’t care what the dickheads at Roger Ebert or Metacritic say ( poor, lazy reviewers on both sites that have no real concept of what horror is or why it even works! )”
    GREAT! Its true especially for Ebert..he slayed classic such as The Brood, Children Of The Corn, even Hellraiser ( I wonder if he have ever read Barker’s Hellbound…or Imajica for that matter )..although back when I had less grey hairs I remember his Henry: Portrait.. where he praised the flick giving it 4,5 out of 5

    • It’s shocking to think that a critic would slate Hellraiser really isn’t it? Just shows you how far some people are off the mark at times…

    • To be honest from what I can remember I didn’t really notice the acting being that bad. I remember that the Megan character herself was incredibly annoying but I suppose she was meant to be portrayed that way?

  3. Watched this last night and the whole time I was like why the hell are they killing people? Do they know her and its revenge? What the hells going on? Then the end hits and I was like oh shit! This stuff really could happen in the dark web maybe? Lol it was a decent movie though

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