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Bad Match Review

Bad Match is a 2017 thriller about an internet-dating playboy’s life who spirals out of control after meeting a woman online.

Online dating is perhaps the single greatest pool for creepy blind date stories ever and the movies have certainly taken to task bringing them to the big screen from comedy to horror and everything in-between. Now comes David Chirchirillo‘s Bad Match, a chilling modern tale of romantic hell that takes the familiar and spins it into a chaotic nightmare that upgrades the genre with great effect.

Meet Harris (Jack Cutmore-Scott), a good-looking, kinda successful, modern sort of guy who takes full advantage of the internet’s boundless resources to find girls and get quicky dates, swiping right with Zen-like proficiency. He’s practiced his routine with all the prowess of a method actor, doing the same thing every time and scoring sex with great regularity. He’s good at it, but never stays the night, feeling he’s not giving any of the girls any expectations. Then there’s Riley (Lili Simmons), a pretty young woman looking for a relationship, using internet dating in hopes of finding the right man. She thinks she has with Harris, though he’s not so sure and well, things get twisted as one would expect, and Harris finds himself on the wrong end of a bad day.

The off-balance girl with attachment issues is certainly nothing new in movies, and since Adrian Lyne‘s Fatal Attraction set the bar so high, many have taken the formula and ran with it. Bad Match doesn’t stray too far from the recipe, though it gives it a little ‘he deserves it’ spin by having Harris reveal a bit of a dark side, and while maybe we can identify with him and his motivations, we also feel as if he gets what’s coming … at least to a point. Chirchirillo, who also wrote the screenplay, starts the film with some humor, playing into the comedic sensibilities of Harris and his habits, setting up the eventual lesson to be learned before going all dark. There’s even a hint of commentary on the addiction of the way online dating sites now work, though it’s much more interested in the trauma of it all and the consequences of such. And not just what you think.

Chirchirillo does best in building up some highly effective tension, shifting the funny to furious in the second act as things get extremely dark. There’s an interesting moment early in the movie when Harris breaks down his strategy for bedding women, not realizing that his formula might get him pretty girls but has a loophole to also let in a monster. Or so it seems. In the modern age, the slow destruction of a human being is remarkably easy it would seem, and Bad Match makes a good case to get off the grid and live in the woods. What elevates Bad Match to the next level is how it sidesteps a traditional ending in favor of something a bit more cryptic and Chirchirillo delivers some genuinely good twists and some even better direction as it all comes together. 

Drawing from the likes of Hitchcock and De Palma, there’s a lot visually about Bad Match that ripens this from a standard trope-laden girl gone crazy flick to something far deeper (a particularly good moment comes in a voyeuristic scene at a park). By the third act, you think you know what’s going on but Chirchirillo constantly pulls the rug out from under us, forcing us to ask some challenging questions. Madness shapes everything about Bad Match and every step of the way seems blisteringly authentic. This is an online dating nightmare and one you’ve totally got to go on.

Bad Match Review

Movie description: Bad Match is a 2017 thriller about an internet-dating playboy's life who spirals out of control after meeting a woman online.

Director(s): David Chirchirillo

Actor(s): Lili Simmons, Noureen DeWulf, Chase Williamson

Genre: Thriller

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