Kirsten Prout in Social Nightmare (2013) (aka: Mother)

Social Hell

Catherine Hardy (Kirsten Prout) is incredibly close to her mother Susan (Daryl Hannah) which makes things a little difficult when it comes to picking a college as Susan is not looking forward to her daughter flying the nest and leaving her home alone. All of a sudden someone is messing with Catherine's social media account, posting dodgy updates which threaten her chances of getting in to a good college by damaging her reputation. As Catherine tries to get to the bottom of this she realises that there are various people who could have done it and even some she may not even suspect.

When I watch a poor movie I try to imagine what it must have come across like at its initial stage and so I find myself trying to think how "Social Nightmare", which also goes by the name of "Mother", must have been like at the start. And in fairness I think "Social Nightmare" with this story of a High School student finding her life turned upside down when her social media account gets hacked and someone starts using it to make her life a misery could have been quite good. It has the potential to be not only insightful when it comes to online security but also mysterious when it comes to whom could be behind it all and of course why.

Daryl Hannah in Social Nightmare (2013) (aka: Mother)

But unfortunately "Social Nightmare" doesn't end up the movie it should be and ends up one which at times is amusingly bad. The issues start with the writing because who ever wrote this has a strange idea of how teenagers act and speak in a modern world, almost every line of dialogue doesn't ring true be it teenage friends talking to each other or a mother and daughter talking about their day to day problems. It is so forced that the acting then becomes a problem as everyone sounds over the top and patronising due to the dialogue which even someone like Daryl Hannah can't make work.

The knock on effect of this frankly poor writing is that "Social Nightmare" becomes blatantly obvious. As I watched this made for TV movie I wrote down it is probably the mum as whilst she plays dumb about computers and the internet she seems devious and wanting her daughter to stay at home giving her motive. But in truth this is one of those movies which whilst seeming to be obvious not only tosses up other possibilities but could easily pick someone out of thin air to be behind the online campaign when the big reveal eventually arrives at the end.

What this all boils down to is that "Social Nightmare" could have been a good movie which combined entertainment with a warning about online safety. But the final product is poorly written and forced from start to finish which makes it a bad movie.