Trust: A Movie on the Reality of Online Predators


How do you protect your children from danger?

Nowadays, the danger lurks not only in places where your kids spend most of their time, like within the  neighborhood or their school.  Danger also lurks in a place where you as parents, more than anybody else, should be very much aware of, that is, the Internet World.   The Internet, with its extensive help to the modern society and its people, is, unfortunately,  also home to online predators and that’s where the danger lies for our children.

This is the story line of the movie TRUST, starring Liana Liberato (Annie), Clive Owen (Will, as Annie’s Dad),  Catherine Keener (Lynn, as Annie’s Mom), Chris Henry Coffee (Charlie as the Online Predator).   Annie, a 14-year old girl,  develops online friendship with Charlie, whom she thought of as a boy of 16, but as their friendship deepens, he told her that he’s 20, and later on, 25.   Her friendly chats and phone calls with him developed into more intimate relationship.  When they finally met, Charlie turned out to be a middle-aged man. Despite Annie’s apprehensions when she saw him,  Charlie was still able to persuade her to join him for ice cream and later on to a motel room where she was raped.   It’s obvious to the viewers that Charlie has been doing this for a long time, but for Annie, he was as innocent as a young boy she thought him to be.   His sweet words swept Annie off her feet, and she didn’t see the bad intentions that he had on her.

Later on,  when she didn’t get any reply from Charlie anymore, her calls and messages were not returned, her bestfriend,  Brittany, noticed the changes in her.  Annie confided to Brittany what happened to her.  Brittany reported to the school authorities that Annie met with her middle-aged boyfriend in the Mall and that she was raped.   Annie was brought to the hospital for examination and her parents were informed.  Her parents were clueless, and they were not aware of the extent of their daughter’s relationship with Charlie, although her Dad asked the basic questions about Charlie, Annie was only able to give him the information which was just provided to her by Charlie.

The scary part was when Annie refused to acknowledge that she was raped by the man.  She refused to cooperate with the police and investigators.  She still believed, despite what happened, that Charlie loves her, that he thinks she’s pretty, that he’s sweet, and that he’s the only one who understands her.  She confided all these things to the psychiatrist who was assigned to her case.   She became hostile towards her family, especially her Dad.  Meanwhile, her father, Will, got obsessed with finding the man who did it to her daughter.  He did his own investigations and showed his daughter photos of suspected men.  He tracked down a man he was confident to be his daughter’s assailant, and whom he later saw in her daughter’s school, watching the volleyball tournament.  He attacked the man, who turned out to be the father of Annie’s schoolmate.  The man didn’t file charges against Will (since obviously he didn’t want to be investigated as Will is correct in suspecting him to be one of those online predators).

Annie finally came to her senses when the investigator confirmed that the DNA sample of Charlie matched with all the other samples found in the crime scene of the other kids whom he assaulted.  At first, Annie still didn’t believe and even said that the DNA results could be wrong, but the FBI agent immediately assailed her doubts by saying that for the DNA results to be wrong is a next to impossible probability.  He showed Annie several photos of young kids who were assaulted by Charlie, to ask her if she somehow recognizes them, like, if they went to the same camp, or in a club, or whatever.  But Annie didn’t recognize any of them.  Annie was devastated and went straight to her psychiatrist’s clinic, where she broke down, and finally admitted to herself that she was indeed raped by the man she trusted.  She realized that she was no different from all the other girls who were victimized by Charlie; they were almost of the same age, with one as young as nine.

Annie later tried to commit suicide when the final blow of seeing her nude photos in the Internet hit her.  That was the last straw in the emotional torment that she was suffering from.  Fortunately, she was discovered in time by her father and was able to bring her to the hospital.  The final scene between her and her father was so touching, with her Dad apologizing to her for not being there for her, for letting her lose her self-confidence and her self-esteem to the extent that she thinks she’s not beautiful, and that she thought of ending her life.

The ending of the movie leaves the viewers with a heavy heart because the man was not captured and was even shown to be a respectable Physics professor and looks like a happily married with a son.  It just means that he’s still out and ready for his next victim.

The movie is an eye-opener, especially for parents with adolescent and teenager kids.  It reveals the reality of online predators whose mission in life is to victimize innocent and trusting kids.

But I think, inasmuch as I would like to completely blame these people,  the burden also lies in how the parents raise their children.  I believe that kids who are raised to be self-confident, with high self-esteem, who can assert for themselves, who value their self-image, and most importantly, with high spiritual values, are not very likely to become victims of this kind of crime, because they would know how to handle themselves well and they would easily see the lies behind the sweet words of these kind of people.

So, I believe that we, as parents, have the great responsibility of making sure that our children have strong emotional and spiritual foundation.  It is physically impossible for us to be with them 24/7,  but if we have instilled in them the right values,  we can be assured that they will be able to confidently assert themselves against these online predators.  And again, most importantly, let us always remember to pray for them in all the things that they do, in all the activities that they engage in, in all the friends that they involve with, and in all the relationships that they find themselves into.

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45 Comments Posted

  1. I agree with your. As a parent we need to prepare our children for some situations that they cannot imagine will happen to them… I have seen this and i was crying. There is no justice in the end. For me — no matter how respectable the person is, if he had done something bad especially to your own child you need to fight to give justice and keep it from happening again. Imagine how many more young girls waiting to be his victim.

    • parents have a very big responsibility, and we can only do so much, so we need to make sure that we constantly pray for our kids to protect them from harm.

  2. i agree with your points; i will just add that communication plays a bigger part in parent-child relationship, parents should facilitate ways to talk with their children in different age levels to express what the children are thinking and what they feel
    i like to watch this movie…ma-download nga ito hahaha

  3. That was a very good movie review! Thank you for extending the movie’s message. Indeed, we need to help our kids by providing them with good emotional foundation.

    • you’re right, that’s the only thing we can do for our kids, make sure that we have open communication with them, pray for them, and spend quality time with them.

  4. I agree with you. Parent plays a major role in their child’s life. Especially now with the easy access in the internet and kids are exposed to things that are not supposedly appropriate for their age. Thus parent should be their to guide them.

    BTW, the movie sounds interesting but I don’t like how it ends based on this post.

  5. Wow, this is really heartbreaking. I have a heavy heart now just reading and what more can I feel when watching the movie itself. I agree that we parents should be responsible in teaching and guiding our children. I also watch a documentary about young girls who was raped by their own fathers but when they was interviewed they said they don’t know that was rape already. SO for mothers with young girls let them aware of what is the limitation of showing affection of the people around them.

    Mommy Maye (http://momayes.blogspot.com)

    • this is the sad reality of our society… and it’s getting more and more difficult for us as parents to protect our kids.

  6. i could just imagine how devastating it was for the parents! this is actually one of the reasons why i don’t want my child to be aware of internet at a very early age. these things make me scared as a parent when my child grows up and becomes aware of her surroundings and will be influenced by friends and etc 🙁

  7. I’ve seen this either on HBO or Star Movies just a few days ago. Although I’m not a fan of such sexual predator movies, I’m still thankful that TRUST was made. It’s a good warning to all parents and children, especially those with internet access. I liked how it was made as well, because both Clive and Liana were able to portray the actual reactions, thoughts, and experiences of both the victim and her dad before, during, and at the aftermath of the whole event. Thanks for the review! At least now more people would be looking forward to seeing this and actually learn from it.

    • it was really scary, especially on the last part when the man was shown to be a “well-respected” teacher in school, with easy access to kids.

  8. Working with children & as an elder sister, it sometimes makes me weary what will happen to the world next – it’s not getting any safer/ better to the kids nor to anyone of us.

    We need to be constantly vigilant and at the same time, cover our little ones in prayers. Stay safe! 🙂

  9. Thanks, Pearl, for sharing this movie review. There is really a great responsibility on parents to teach and guide their children in the right path – not just keeping them safe in the home but also teaching them about the dangers in the outside world.

  10. what a touching story, even adults get victimized with social networks, online frauds. so it is really important that we guide our children or younger family members.

  11. This is a wake-up call for parents. Some of them are very tolerant of their kids’ use of social networks and the like because these comprise the new status quo. But parents are still responsible for bringing their children up in the best possible way. Thanks for sharing this review; made me think.

  12. I think I would be more paranoid if I get to watch this movie. I hope I could delay the kids’ exposure to the Internet. But, even schools rely on it. Parents should really be vigilant and see if the children spend more time online than is acceptable.

  13. Haven’t seen this movie yet but it sounds interesting. Maybe it will be an eye opener to parents on how we have to deal with our children especially in their growing up years. I agree with Reese that communication plays a vital role in parent-child relationship.

    Thanks for sharing, feel interested to see this film.

  14. i agree that the children’s confidence should primarily come from the parent’s assurance, sadly, as guilty as i am too at times, it is easier to tell the negative than the positive. but of course being a believer in Chris, i still do my best to assure and instill good values in my children. thanks for posting, i will look for this movie and my daughter needs the eye-opener as well as my son too.

  15. what a wonderful movie to watch 🙂 and share the lessons 🙂 as a parent to young kids, have to make sure that they do not talk to the strangers 🙂 am glad that my kids are learning that 🙂 Parents are always the best teachers and always guidance is what our kids need 🙂

  16. As a mother of two kids I’m keenly aware of the dangers of internet. FOr now my boys are still small and not interested but pretty soon they will be. We hope that we can keep an eye on them or if not that we’ve educated them enough to protect themselves from these harms.

  17. it really is pretty scary, especially when you hear a lot of these crimes in the evening news!

    i must agree, the key is to raise your children well + give them enough love + attention so they won’t end up looking for these elsewhere, i.e. the internet!

    love your post, thanks for sharing 😉

  18. I got to watch this movie last year! And yes, this is definitely an eye-opener especially in this generation where kids as young as 6 are already surfing the internet and even have their own Facebook accounts! >.<

  19. gosh, this is really scary that’s why I am scared to have a baby girl, i would rather have a boy. communication with the children is really important. don’t trust anybody immediately.

    **visiting from BC bloggers**

  20. I agree with your points; i will just add that communication plays a bigger part in parent-child relationship, parents should facilitate ways to talk with their children in different age levels to express what the children are thinking and what they feel

    I like to watch this movie…ma-download nga ito hahaha

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