A 2023 Thriller Based on an Incredible Viral Story Just Dropped on Netflix

A 2023 Thriller Based on an Incredible Viral Story Just Dropped on Netflix
Image credit: StudioCanal, Netflix

A movie full of suspense and relatable experiences for many women and queer people.


  • In 2017, The New Yorker published a relevant short story that immediately went viral.
  • It was a thriller whose plot followed a young girl who met a man who turned out to be much older than her.
  • The movie version of the story was recently added to Netflix.

If you're familiar with A24's repertoire over the past few years, you've probably heard of Bodies Bodies Bodies, a 2022 comedy-horror. The film is based on a spec script that A24 acquired in 2018 from American writer Kristen Roupenian, who the year before had published a remarkable short story in The New Yorker called Cat Person that immediately went viral.

Cat Person proved to be so timely for millennials and Gen Z that it immediately generated hundreds, if not thousands, of Twitter discussions, with columnists from even the most prestigious magazines and newspapers coming out in full force.

And now, a film adaptation starring Emilia Jones and Nicholas Brown has been released in 2023, which became available on Netflix a few days ago. Let's take a look at what the movie is about and if it's worth watching.

A Psychological Thriller Based on Real Experience

In 2021, France's StudioCanal acquired the rights to the adaptation, which eventually starred CODA and Locke & Key star Emilia Jones opposite Succession star Nicholas Braun. The plot follows 20-year-old college student Margot (Jones) who, while moonlighting at a movie theater, meets a local regular, a man named Robert (Braun). Word of mouth, and now there is no need for dating apps — young people are actively texting each other. However, Margot soon discovers that Robert is actually 33, and his IRL personality is very different from what he seemed to her through text. They end up having sex, but this only pushes Margot further away as she simply does not know how to say no.

Margot ends up ghosting him, even though Robert has tried to become actively involved in her life by getting to know her friends. The original New Yorker story ends with Robert pathetically texting her 'whore' after he realizes he's getting nothing.

Once women are no longer a tidbit to be twisted and manipulated to satisfy men's desires, the very moment women begin to fight back, insecure men, feeling the lack of control and wounded pride, have no choice but to call a woman a 'whore'. Yes, whether she is monogamous or polygamous, even if she is the ultimate puritan, while her 'partner' may well be proud and even boast of his promiscuity, the 'whore' is still going to be a woman, for that is the only weapon of defense for men with hurt egos. The experience is horrible, but this end of the relationship is far better than obsession, threats, stalking, and revenge. Probably the biggest regret in this case will be the devalued time, feelings and emotions spent with such a man who at first seemed sincere, kind and cheerful.

But StudioCanal was not satisfied with such a realistic story, the audience needed action. They also had to justify the budget ($12 million) and the star cast. As a result, the story doesn't end there, and Robert turns out to be a dangerous stalker who knew about Margot and her background before meeting her. This is where the suspenseful psychological thriller begins.

What Critics and Audiences Are Saying about the Adaptation

Many popular media outlets have come out in full force to praise the direction, acting, and screenplay of the short story adaptation, noting that it is an uncomfortable but highly relevant film for young people in the Internet age. But in reality, critics and audiences didn't really favor the adaptation over the original story, with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 47% from critics and 48% from audiences.

And yet the movie does an excellent job of conveying a woman's experience of how a sense of comfort and security can evaporate in an instant, leaving her feeling vulnerable and unsafe.