Sexting in Suburbia (2012) starring Liz Vassey, Jenn Proske, Ryan Kelley, Kelli Goss, Rachel Delante, Judith Hoag, Celeste Oliva directed by John Stimpson - movie review on The Movie Scene

Sexting in Suburbia (2012)   3/53/53/53/53/5


Liz Vassey as Rachel Van Cleve in Sexting in Suburbia (2012) (aka: Shattered Silence)

Cleve the Ending

"Sexting in Suburbia" is also known as "Shattered Silence" and the differences in title almost seem to suggest two different things yet in a way that is quite apt. What I mean is that the movie starts with teenager Dina Van Cleve committing suicide because her life has been made unbearable thanks to cyber bullying and to start with the movie is all about how teenagers can be the victim of bullying be it online or via text messaging. But the story evolves as we have Dina's mum determined to get to the bottom of what lead her daughter to take her own life and the movie becomes a thriller as she faces a wall of silence from those unwilling to blab. It does mean that whilst "Sexting in Suburbia" seems to be one thing it evolves into a rather standard thriller but one which then goes overboard in trying to be mysterious and that is the problem because unfortunately "Sexting in Suburbia" becomes too far fetched.

When Rachel Van Cleve (Liz Vassey - Man of the House) returns home from work it is just another day until she discovers her daughter Dina (Jenn Proske) hanging in her bedroom. Distraught and struggling to come to terms with why her daughter, a promising hockey player, would take her life she discover via Dina's laptop that she was in fact miserable thanks to cyber bullying and those people she thought were friends turning on her after an incident with a sexy photo she sent her boyfriend. Determined to get to the bottom of who instigated the cyber bullying Rachel is met with a wall of silence as not only do none of Dina's friends want to say what happened but the school do not want her digging the dirt.

Jenn Proske as Dina Van Cleve in Sexting in Suburbia (2012) (aka: Shattered Silence)

So "Sexting in Suburbia" is a three part movie and it is a three part move which goes from being reasonably good to being far fetched. The reasonably good part is Rachel discovering that in her last weeks Dina was miserable thanks to cyber bullies who after she sent a naked picture of herself to her boyfriend the whole school saw it and she was labelled a slut. This first half does a remarkably good job of highlighting how something sent via phone which is private can fall into the wrong hands and spread like wild fire and with mention of a webpage all about Dina being a slut does a reasonable job of highlighting elements of cyber bullying.

Now with Rachel determined to get to the bottom of things we have the thriller part as she follows what few leads she has to discover how it all started, with the naked picture. But unfortunately it does become almost a standard thriller where not only does Rachel have a wall of silence stopping her from getting the truth but the direction over emphasizes a character as being the possible instigator. It's almost a case that it goes around in circles for a bit with Rachel not really getting anywhere other than facing the wrath of the school when they become hot news.

But then unfortunately things spiral out of control as not only does Rachel become the subject of sick notes, a break in as well as discovering Dina's grave vandalized but who could have started it all becomes convoluted. And sadly when we learn who was behind the cyber bullying it is so outrageous that you stop taking it seriously. Not only that the ending to this movie is so painfully cheesy that I suggest stopping it when a certain hospital scene appears in the last few minutes as what happens beyond that is cheesy. It is a shame because after such a decent start and doing a fair job of looking into the issue of cyber bullying "Sexting in Suburbia" goes down hill and never recovers.

What this all boils down to is that "Sexting in Suburbia" does start on a decent level as it focuses on the subject of sexting and cyber bullying but the longer it goes on the more it evolves and unfortunately not in a good way with the actual ending being something which should have been left on the cutting room floor.


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