The new suspenseful home invasion horror film, 13 Cameras, bases its plot on a very realistic fear – that someone may be spying on you inside your own home. The notion that anyone could be watching your every move is not new. However, this paranoia has risen after the September 11 attacks in 2001, among those who have found suspicion and conspiracy in the government and even other “regular” people. Although having security cameras installed should mostly ensure your safety, the possibility that someone could hack into them or even install their own hidden cameras in your home may make you take a closer look at your own technology.
Directed by Victor Zarcoff, 13 Cameras features the lives of the expecting newlyweds Ryan (P.J. McCabe) and Claire (Brianne Moncrief), who are unknowingly being spied on by their creepy new landlord, Gerald (Neville Archambault), who has installed thirteen different hidden cameras in their rental home. Zarcoff shows us a clear illustration of how although technology can enhance our lives, it can also provide unexpected pathways to exploitation and surveillance.
With the modern world continuously developing, there is undoubtedly a number of ways people can be victims of surveillance. Social media is one major tool in which your location and your actions are constantly observed. Instagram and Facebook both have active location settings that let others know where you are. Additionally, technology with cameras installed in them, such as security cameras, laptops, and even baby monitors, can easily be hacked by those who truly want to spy on your life. In 13 Cameras, Gerald quickly becomes privy to secrets in Ryan and Claire’s marriage while becoming deeply obsessed with the details of their daily lives, much like many of us do with others on social media.
Although the prevalence of cameras gives us the opportunity to photograph and record many aspects of our lives, 13 Cameras illustrates the more cryptic and sinister side of modern technology. In the movie, the cameras allow Gerald to view every area of the home, including the bedroom, bathroom and swimming pool, where Ryan’s indiscretions are seen. Gerald has even installed one in their toilet bowl, truly showcasing how much of you can be invaded. The obsession in Gerald is unbearably unsettling and truly mirrors that of some who are equally obsessed with people on social media. It is not unknown that there are teenagers as well as adults who strive to know everything about that one celebrity. Although this is less creepy and threatening because of the inevitability of celebrity status, there is no doubt that Gerald seems to represent just another fanboy. It’s just that his “celebrities” are unknowing and unsuspecting victims of exploitation.
Video surveillance can be invaluable when it comes to solving crimes, deterring thieves or monitoring the activity of pets. However, as seen in 13 Cameras, cameras can invite unwanted attention into your life, and the end result can be complex and frightening. Themes of paranoia, technophobia and violence give this film a thought-provoking message to which many people – especially women – will be able to relate.
Although 13 Cameras is a fictional movie, cameras are frequently hacked for unethical use. Unsuspecting people have stumbled upon websites that house video feeds from private homes, with cameras showing people eating meals, babies in their cribs and the private activities of bathrooms and bedrooms. The problems are many, and this film helps to shed light on the issue. When consumers are bringing more technology into their homes that require video cameras, it’s important to take extra precautions. Make sure you install home security cameras from high quality brands (more info) and that you have different passwords for each technology you own. These steps can help tremendously with your safety and prevent you from being a victim in your own home. After all, you could be on camera right now.