Charlotte's Net (2021) by James Dobbins Jones

Director: James Dobbins Jones
Year: 2021
Country: Australia
Alternate Titles: N/A
Genre: Exploitation; Mockumentary

After looking into how to go online, a kid and his friend find a series of dark and disturbing visuals about human nature.

This was a rather tough and disturbing genre effort. The very nature of the lips being show, ranging from gang beatdowns, live mutilations and dismemberments, executions, and accidents that reveal brutal and obscene acts from various sources reveal a highly uncomfortable experience. The fact that it’s taken from documentary footage leads a realism to the material that goes beyond most genre fare as the detachment that comes about from this approach, especially when it goes beyond the human deaths into highly uncomfortable bodily functions or other antics that include animals at certain points. This creates a generally bleak and disruptive atmosphere that is quite difficult to get through.

There are some problems to be had here. The main issue is the whole random nature of what constitutes a storyline here, which doesn’t actually have it. There’s never a sense of this one grouping the footage together to prove something or generate a plotline, as instead this just goes from a random scene of human brutality to the next one, with the only interruption coming from the extended scenes of the kids going through several conversations about the context of their lives which drains the life from the film completely. This goes on so long that it feels completely pointless to include it with how little it connects to the rest of the film with the context of the clips shown or how enjoyable it comes off.

As well, there’s also the whole nature of the material here being troubling or unsettling to sit through. Granted, most won’t want to undertake this due to the subject matter, but most of those who are willing to do so won’t have a lot of time to differentiate what’s going on from most of the other clips shown here. The fact that it’s mostly the same type of scenes being featured here in terms of the vicious and uncomfortable content eventually becomes monotonous and dull after a while which is due to the highly repetitive style of these scenes regardless of how disturbing and confrontational they are. Combined with the other factors present, these really lower this one significantly.

Overview: **/5
Rough, uncomfortable, and disturbing when it really tries, this one comes off as challenging and tough to get through despite the positives being overwhelmed more by the lack of storyline and troublesome nature of the clips designed to unsettle. Really only seek this one out if you’re willing to go into these darker aspects of the content shown here, but most others won’t have a lot to like here.