A movie to give parents nightmares. All seems well with the Cameron family in their nice suburban home, though 14-year-old Annie (Liana Liberato) does spend an awful lot of time corresponding with her online friend Charlie, a 16-year-old boy she met in a volleyball chatroom.
Awkward and insecure at school, Annie thinks that her cyber-friend is the only one who understands her, but the truth comes out once she meets him in person: the relationship spins out of control and her parents (Catherine Keener, Clive Owen) are paralysed with horror to find out what's happened. Directed by David Schwimmer, the film angles its theme – the sexualisation of vulnerable teens – largely through the character of Owen, an ad executive who becomes so clenched with fury that he joins a vigilante "Pervert Tracker" website and even steals from the FBI, forgetting his more pertinent duty of helping his daughter put her life back together. (His ad campaigns, full of photos of girls in their underwear, suggest an hypocrisy at work in the social mainstream). It turns into something thoughtful, despite Owen's macho revenge fantasies, and the performance by 15-year-old Liana Liberato, a sobering study in delusional innocence, is powerfully affecting.
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