Dashcam follows a young woman who, while on her live stream, steals her friend's car in order to run his food delivery service route for the sake of entertainment. When the first requested delivery is a mysterious old lady rather than a meal, the streamer's night quickly spirals into chaos.
[This movie was seen on Vudu via rental at the time of this review.]
I will start by saying that this movie is not for everyone. There will simply be individuals that will not be able to tolerate the protagonist's personality and/or political views, however ironically and satirically they may be represented. To those individuals, I provide fair warning. You may find Dashcam not only irritating, but near-unwatchable. Being undead, I don't have to concern myself with anything but horror, so from that perspective and within that context...I found Dashcam very enjoyable. This movie is the manic cousin who shows up at every get-together with a complete lack of tact, negligible self-awareness, and an insane amount of energy. That person can be a handful, but also maybe a bit fun at times to at least watch from a distance.
While the beginning of the film is a difficult watch, even if you are able to embrace the awkward and annoying humor of it all (or at the very least ignore it), it's also rapidly paced. In fact, the entirety of this movie sprints from moment to moment with a frantic nature that will drive some crazy or, in my case, illicit a big smile. The found footage element is absolutely chaotic and wildly jumbled in the camera movements and the transition of each set piece, but it's all happening so fast with this constant flip-flop between brutal/frightening and whacky/funny. In between blood spatters, we get a random curse-riddled quip. And once we've settled down from a delirious sprint through the woods, we get a predictable yet effective jump scare. It's a wild ride that manages to at least try and one-up itself with every scene like a feature-length segment from V/H/S.
The acting is subpar, but with the complete insanity of it all, it didn't really bother me. I was having so much fun with the impressive stretching of the budget in some great set pieces and effects work that I didn't really notice or mind. By the time we hit the second act, I was fully hooked. It's been a long time since I've seen a movie so successfully crescendo to its climax with every scene one-upping the moment before it.
Despite the title and cover art, the film has little to do with actual dashcam footage. This was slightly disappointing for me at first for two reasons. Number one, we recently got a frantic social media found footage movie set primarily in a vehicle with Spree. Number two, the originality and ingenuity going into a film comprised entirely or almost entirely from a dashcam would have been something to behold if they could pull it off well. However, such disappointments wore off fairly quickly once the drudge of the first act was done.
As I mentioned, this movie simply isn't for everyone. It certainly isn't perfect, as few found footage films are, but what it does, it does very well. I found it to be a rather entertaining ride with its satirical messaging aside. The frenetic pace and effects work has me suggesting it to anyone who wants to see a feature-length V/H/S-like story. Don't expect too much, go in for a fun time, and I think you'll have one.
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier: 9/10
Horror Quality: 8/10
Film Quality: 6/10