THE DEN aka HACKED (2013) Overview

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The Den – aka Hacked – is a 2013 American horror film directed by Zachary Donohue from a screenplay co-written with Lauren Thompson.

The film was first released in Russia on December 23, 2013. It was released in the US on March 14, 2014 by IFC Films. In the UK, it was released on DVD on 18 April 2016 by Precision Pictures.

Main cast:

Melanie Papalia, David Schlachtenhaufen, Matt Riedy, Adam Shapiro, Bill Oberst Jr., Katija Pevec, Ron Bottitta, Lily Holleman, Anna Margaret Hollyman, Kirk Bovill, Shannon Mosley, Vivian Kerr.




After receiving a grant for her graduate thesis, Elizabeth Benton (Melanie Papalia) logs onto a video-chat site known as The Den, on a mission to explore the habits of its users. During one of her random video-chats, Elizabeth watches in horror as a teenage girl is gruesomely murdered in front of her webcam.


While the police dismiss it as a viral prank, Elizabeth believes what she saw is real and takes it upon herself to find the truth. Her life quickly spirals out of control as she gets pulled deeper into the darkest recesses of the internet. And eventually, Elizabeth finds herself trapped in a twisted game in which she and her loved ones are targeted for the same grisly fate as the first victim…




” … starts out a little rocky but if you’re not completely fed up with ‘found footage’ filmmaking by now and you’re willing to give a non-traditional visual presentation a fair shot, The Den has some pretty compelling things to say about the alleged safety of the internet.” Scott Weinberg,

“lacks true scares, awesome kills or even the routine flash of nudity to warrant any sort of viewing. It panders a silly and over exaggerated message of the dangers of the anonymity of the internet and the “nature” of people. It uses a silly plot to carry a ridiculous camera technique and delivers nothing but angst and irritation.” Ryan Larsen, Shock Till You Drop

“Zachary Donohue scores big with The Den, executing on a strong gimmick at a speedy, flowing pace. The scares are real, the obsession warranted, and the horror unsettling – yet undoubtedly true. Click around the bowels of internet Hell one day, I dare you. There are monumentally dark places on the internet society just shouldn’t uncover, and The Den is one of them…” Matt Donato, We Got This Covered

“Commendably and frighteningly, The Den reveals its violence or sudden shadowy figures with little fanfare (read: musical stings), but during moments that strive to be particularly intense, Donohue cuts out of the The Den’s split screen or screen-within-a-screen view to a full look at the action. The intent is understood, but when much of the film has stuck within that (seemingly logistical) aesthetic, the choice is a jarring one…” Samuel Zimmerman, Fangoria

Cast and characters:

  • Melanie Papalia as Elizabeth “Liz” Benton
  • David Schlachtenhaufen as Damien
  • Adam Shapiro as Max
  • Anna Margaret Hollyman as Lynn Benton
  • Matt Riedy as Sgt. Tisbert
  • Katija Pevec as Jenni
  • Saidah Arrika Ekulona as Sally
  • Anthony Jennings as Officer Dawson
  • Victoria Hanlin as Brianne
  • Anushka Rani as Young Indian Girl



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