John Merizalde: Incel
Chilling film from director John Merizalde shines a grim light on the dark web's hate forums.
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John Merizalde, an LA-based director of commercials and promos and part of the Whitelist filmmaking collective, has created a deeply unsettling film that exposes how online forums can incite disturbed individuals to terrible acts of violence.
Following the descent of a lonely, socially-awkward young male into a suicidal – and ultimately homicidal – state, it exposes the murky depths of the dark web, where subcultures grow hateful ideologies that can leak out into the real world with terrible consequences.
Incel is short for ‘involuntarily celibate’ and was coined in the early 90s by a website created for people sharing tales of ‘inceldom’ or inability to find a sexual or romantic partner. The forum mainly comprises white, straight males, and actively encourages resentment, self-loathing, misogyny and incitements to exact revenge on women who reject them and anyone who is sexually active.
Merizalde first became interested in the subject following the case of 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, who opened fire on a college sorority in California, killing six people and injuring fourteen before committing suicide. A series of vlogs that Rodger posted prior to the mass shooting recorded his descent into violence and misogyny. After the shooting, the incel community heralded Rodger as a hero…