PVT Chat

February 9, 202150/1005 min
Julia Fox, Peter. Vack
Written by
Ben Hozie
Directed by
Ben Hozie
Run Time
1h 26min
Release Date
February 5th, 2021
Overall Score
Rating Summary


In this day and age there are many ways you can socialize with other people, and most of it can be done without leaving your house. More people are living their life online and the norms of where you meet your friends and even lovers have changed. In fact, relationships online have changed everything and the person you fall in love with might just be someone you pay in tokens to give you the attention you want. This is the world we live in now and while it might be strange to some, for people like Jack, it is all they know.

Jack (Peter Vack) is a guy living in a small apartment in New York City, who spends all of his time on line. When he is not earning his living as an internet gambler he is browsing cam sites for women to talk to. It is there where he becomes fixated with Scarlet (Julia Fox), a dominatrix model from San Francisco, and what starts off as a business transition soon turns into something much more. Jack becomes obsessed with Scarlet, which is enhanced as they start to share personal information with each other, even though this is still a transaction, emotions are starting to form. That obsession is taken to the next step when Jack sees Scarlet in New York, realizing that she is not in San Francisco, the thought that she is in the same city takes his desire for her up a few steps. Eventually that infatuation pays off and Jack and Scarlet meet in person, but the end result is not exactly what Jack hoped for.

It is often in film that we see New York City as this place of beauty, like they are trying to hide the dirty parts of it. Ben Hozie, who wrote and directed PVT Chat reminds us that it can also be a place of urban isolation and loneliness.  Jack is not someone you would call an emotionally stable man and Vack plays him pretty much like that asshole you never want to meet. As much as Vack’s character is repulsive, Fox’s is inviting as they play up the quirkiness of her character. Hozie doesn’t only write and direct, he also is the films cinematographer and his use of hand held cameras and choice of lighting really gives the city that grittiness. It is because of that you feel like behind every door is another story like Jack’s and Scarlet’s. While all of that works, there is often just as much that doesn’t. The characters never really get developed, instead Hozie it seems more interested in trying to be obscene. It is because of that you never connect with any of the characters emotionally and it leaves you feeling indifferent when something happens to them. Jack’s character is also a douche and really when something bad does happen to him, I was thinking that it served him right.  Technically Pvt Chat is something Ben Hozie should be proud of and even though there is little that interests me about it, I can still appreciate the effort.

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