Here is a movie that I thought was interesting based on what little I had seen from the commercials. The trailers seemed to promise creepy atmosphere and an intriguing mystery of a kid who may or may not exist. Fast forward, I have now left the theater and I have found my hopes and dreams have been dashed. Well, that may be overreacting a little bit, but to say I was disappointed would be an understatement.
The film ends with a caption stating that this was based on a true story of someone who had a telephone relationship with a 14 year old boy, who may or may not have actually existed. My answer to that is "So what?" Honestly, who really cares if the anonymous person existed or not? They make no mention of if anything resulted from this relationship or not, making anything presented in the movie pure conjecture.
They would have been better off if they had just left that out and just presented it as a fictional tale of mystery. The whole "based on a true story" schtick is getting a bit old anyway, more a marketing ploy than anything that will sell more tickets. Then there is the whole did he or didn't he exist, does it really matter? I am sure there are many people who have online friendships with people that may or may not be real. No real revelation there.
The entire film hinges on a line of dialog that doesn't really carry the weight that it should for the role it plays. This line sends our hero on a quest that just strikes me as terribly inconsequential. He leaves his home in New York, travels to Wisconsin, and goes on a search for a boy with whom he has befriended through phone communication. The relationship got a kick-start by his receiving a book, written by the boy, detailing years of physical and mental abuse at the hands of his parents.