Trouble in cyberspace

Joy Jonette Chuyaco - The Philippine Star
Trouble in cyberspace

MANILA, Philippines — Who doesn’t enjoy the advantages of instant messaging and Internet? Most people would give a thumbs-up sign to the applications that are so convenient to use anytime and anywhere as long as you have Internet connection. However, just as with all things, if there are advantages, then there are disadvantages as well. Watch out and learn from these movies, for none of us wants to be a victim like the characters in the following films:

Unfriended. A group of friends chatting online notices a new member joining their group. As much as they want to delete the uninvited participant, they can’t. Not for long, people start dying and the remaining survivors need to search for answers to get rid of the angry visitor.  

Chain Letter. We’ve all been there, being recipients of annoying chain letters that take up space in our inbox. Sometimes, it makes one wonder if they are real or not. The film circles around a group of friends receiving a mysterious chain letter that warns them of death if it’s not forwarded to other recipients. Seems nothing serious at first but deaths start to occur as some of them ignore the chain letter.

Anti-Social. On New Year’s Eve, a group of young people decides to just stay in a house and celebrate. As the fun night continues, they become aware of the violence happening outside. With just their gadgets and computer, they try to reach out to people outside just to know what is happening. Is there a virus going on? Or is it in their minds?

Reclaim. A couple wanting a child finds an adoption agency online. They sign up, pay, fly overseas and get the child. After a few days, the child goes missing and the adoption agency disappears. Together in a foreign country, they try to make sense of it all and bravely search for the child. Were they scammed?

Trust. A teenage girl befriends a boy online. They get along, become close and then things turn romantic. The girl believes she has found love and so she meets him in person. She comes back broken as her cyber boyfriend, who’s actually a much older guy, suddenly disappears on her. Is she a victim of sexual abuse?

Live Free or Die Hard. We all know John McClane right? The guy who’s a pain in the neck for all terrorists but a hero to the people. He came back in the 2007 Die Hard sequel, proving once again that he hasn’t lost his skills and endurance. However, this time, he needs a little bit of help when it comes to dealing with the cyberspace.

Friend Request. Laura, a popular schoolgirl, accepts a friend request from Marina, an outcast. When things become weird and uncomfortable, Laura decides to delete Marina. However, Marina is not the type who would move on that easily. One by one, Laura’s friends become lesser and lesser. Could Marina have something to do with it? Be careful on who you add as friends. 

The Net. Angela Bennett is a computer programmer who enjoys working at home. She doesn’t have much of a real social life apart from the cyberspace. Her life changes after she was given access to highly secured information. Suddenly, she holds a different identity and her life is “owned” by another person. The more she desperately searches for answers on how to take back her identity, the more her life is at stake.  

I.T. A rich, successful businessman, who has everything anybody could ever dream of, is confronted with a problem he never thought he would encounter. His highly secured home and his family, including himself, are in danger. Someone is doing all this and is good at it. Sometimes, what we think won’t go wrong could actually do.

Disconnect. The film tells of the effects of the Internet on the lives of the various characters in the movie. No doubt viewers can relate to the situation presented in the story. Technology may be amazingly brilliant but let’s always remember that too much of anything is never a good thing — learn from the characters in the movie.   

Stay Alive. When a group of friends tries to play a horrifying video game, they never expect that ending the game is more than just turning it off. It is haunting them in the real world. That means that not making out alive in the game is equivalent to also dying in real life. Realizing that this is not like any regular game, the surviving ones desperately search for ways to end the terror.  

FearDotCom. Visiting a website seems harmless right? How can you be hurt, physically, if everything you see just happens onscreen? Well, not quite the same for the victims of the website FearDotCom. They visit the website and die afterwards. Now, it’s time for the investigators to find out the reasons why. But for that to happen they need to visit the website — well, if they are brave enough to do so.

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