(2001)

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8/10
Fantastic, but...
Duzniak3826 March 2006
I think that this short is so enjoyable, that I had to show all of my friends and family, so that they could understand the awareness and problems it was giving us. It portrays the dangers of chat rooms (so hilariously.) It uses a waiting room to visualise the chat room; you've got all the characters in there, so you can see them for who they really are, and for who they are trying to disguise themselves as, for example blatant use of lying about age and gender (e.g. you've got a huge 40 year old bloke posing as a 13 year old girl named Beth) - not only did it show the dangers of talking about sexual things on chat room, it also shows the dangers of trust; could you really trust meeting someone from a chat room, when there is such common use of disguising ones self in the chat rooms? I think that once seeing this, you are more alert and suspicious about trusting people online; and this film may be a good way to make parents' children aware of the modern day danger of the Internet and its many chat rooms. The only thing I think that would have made this more interesting, is if they had put more focus on all of the characters. Granted that the main focus on 'slappysue' and 'skater' was needed for the twist; but I also feel that exploring the results of the conversations between the other characters would have put more insight into the point that this short was trying to make.
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not bad at all!
LostRomantic233 April 2002
I found this on a friend's profile on Instant Messenger, and at first had no idea what it was. Up until the last two minutes or so, I was very confused, but I'm glad I kept watching until the end ... upon finishing the clip, I came to IMDb to see exactly what it was: a short film, an excerpt from something, etc. I would love to see this more of this man's work; I'd REALLY like to see this piece go to Cannes or Sundance if it hasn't already -- I can see it winning an award. Definitely check it out.
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10/10
So cool
mgafm10 April 2003
I love short films, but but this was more than I expected. It was simply cool beyond words. And the twisted ending was brilliant. Overall, more than worth spending the ten minutes or so to watch it. Its sort of weird trying to figure out what's going on, and once you do it is just hilarious. I enjoyed the mind games.
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10/10
Simply Amazing
diswiz14 March 2003
Only a few words come to mind after watching this film, and those are, in slang, OMG... It is simply fantastic. The cast was very well chosen, the direction was right on target, and the overall "pazzazz" of the film was high and mighty.

9.7/10 --- Superior
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Frighteningly realistic
tlowell-228 March 2002
Anyone who has ever wasted time in a chat room needs to see this short film. It cleverly, accurately, and chillingly depicts the world behind the computer screen. THE PARLOR will evoke nervous laughter as you recognize yourself in one of the many archetypal chat room denizens: psycho flamer; boy band freak; on-the-make middle-aged married guy; bored, sex-obsessed teen; closeted homosexual; and more.

From his filmography, Geoffrey Haley appears to be a protege of Alan Ball, creator of HBO's Six Feet Under. It would interesting to see if he gets any writing or directing gigs on that show.
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Brilliant
motor8923 July 2002
Warning: Spoilers
I've just caught this short film on the SciFi channel in the UK. Very important: Don't read reviews of it (including this one beyond the first paragraph), they will undoubtedly give the game away and spoil the fun realisation at the end.

Spoiler warning.

This film is simply magnificent, if you have ever spent any time in a chat room it will have you smiling at the end. The real genius is in convincing you that it is some kind of group therapy session, and then maybe a role-playing therapy session. You simply cannot understand why one guy calls himself Beth and why a 50 year-old guy is sitting next to a 15 year old talking dirty - and why does the guy get thrown out by the police for swearing? And then at the end it all becomes clear... and you desperately want to see it again to pick up all the things you missed.

Simply brilliant. Don't spoil it for others by giving the game away though.
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10/10
Simply genius
Steve-35526 March 2002
It takes a few minutes to understand what is going on, but that moment of realization is immensely satisfying, as you realize, "I've done that!" A very witty satire with a great ending. Can't wait to see more from the director.
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Funny
Scarface-1821 March 2002
This is a funny satire of the whole chat room thing. An unflinching and painfully hilarious look at the secret lives of the most unsuspecting people. I'd like to see the writer/director of this short to break into feature film. This man is a genius.
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9/10
A very well done representation of the internet
Mxyzptlk-311 July 2002
Warning: Spoilers
This short is very well done. The characters are all recognizable to someone who has spent time online. It may not be entertaining to someone who doesn't use computers often, but they're getting few and far between. The ending is a little anticlimactic, but is still semi-realistic. The best part has to be the admin though.
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Where oh where is the funniest thing I saw in 2001?
Deathpod26 November 2003
This short had me howling at the accuracies of my chat room addiction days of the late 90's. I really wish I could find a copy of this somewhere, so very well thought out and executed. I believe this won the Sundance "Best Short" award, or something to that effect, for 2001.
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8/10
Very smart, very interesting, but one big flaw
Horst_In_Translation11 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
"The Parlor" is a 10-minute short film from almost 15 years ago written and directed by Geoffrey Haley, who is actually a successful cameraman who worked on many big Hollywood films. In this short film here, he gives us his take of what it would be like to actually be in a room with the people you meet in a chat room. A man in his 40s says he is 15 to impress a 14-year-old girl. A boy who is actually the same age of the girl says he is 20 to impress her as well. Nobody cares about the obese honest woman. A man confesses his homosexuality to another man, who, on the other hand, thinks he is talking to a girl. This is a totally hilarious little movie, which also has some nice dramatic moments. However, I wish Haley would have taken a completely different path with the ending. It was nicely done how he switched the action from physical room reality to real room reality, but the final scene was a big no-go. Too unrealistic for my taste. I wish he'd have shown us how the chat room people actually exist in real life, how they leave the room, maybe go to dinner with their wives/husbands instead of hurting this movie with a truly ridiculous and unfunny ending. Still, overall a pretty good watch. Thumbs up and I hope Haley is going to write and direct some more in the future.
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not 'brilliant', but certainly amusing!
Guile`20 March 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I wouldn't call it brilliant or genius, but The Parlor is certainly an amusing piece... and definitely worth a watch.

** possible spoilers **

I knew what it was about after about a minute or two, probably because I spend a fair amount of time online and know about the stereotypes that are associated with 'chat rooms', and it was rather realistic in that regard... Whether or not it's a true and accurate representation of chat rooms in general is a different story... Might be, might not be. Either way, it was witty and very well made. However, I do think I've seen a comic strip or something with the same theme in the past though, so it didn't strike me as overly brilliant or original. Thumbs up nonetheless.
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