This movie is real! Let me go back for a second. There is a good chance you never heard of Catfish, but it was made famous by winning over audiences at the Sundance Film Fest and having a totally engrossing (albeit misleading) movie trailer that made its rounds virally on the Internet. It's a documentary about three young, good-lookin' hipsters from New York City that document their friend's relationship he makes with a woman over Facebook. The movie is mostly fun and light-hearted until they discover one little detail about his Facebook girlfriend that stirs up debate over her legitimacy (this doesn't give anything away). They decide to drive to her house in Michigan to see her and confront her on the issue(s). That is when the film makes a slow and disturbing turn. I cannot and will not tell you anything more about the movie The three guys have had an uphill battle convincing people that Catfish is true. That's partially because of the reality TV world we live in and the fact that they happen to look like actors you'd see in any Judd Apatow comedy. I thought Catfish was a fake documentary, much like Cloverfield or Blair Witch Project, through 80% of the film. I started to question that notion toward the end and by the last ten minutes I was sure it was real. I couldn't stop running the ending of this movie through my mind though and when I got home I researched it more. The creators admit that they reshot some scenes after they were done filming. I'm fine with that because what they reshot isn't what really matters for the story. What matters is the last act of the film and there's no way they reshot that. I wish I could talk about what happens but I can't. The only thing I can say is that they may have captured documentation of what creepy and off-putting levels mental illness can take some people to. Catfish is a slow burn. Although it moves at a fast pace that's still pretty fun, it asks patience of you as an audience member. Even when the end starts to sink into you, it won't seem that intense. But if you think about what you just saw, it can saturate your marrow and you think about it every time you go online. If it comes out that the movie is indeed a fake, it will still be enjoyable and the boys will earn my respect for their trickery. But as it stands right now, Catfish is a real documentary about real people going through real events that is a cautionary tale about online use. It doesn't show you anybody you didn't already know existed, but actually seeing it makes you feel sad and perplexed. It might have done for Facebook what Psycho did for taking showers.
Catfish (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: A-