So did anyone watch this film?
It pretty much cribs an incident that occurred in 2004, amid a string of calls to various fast-food places and supermarkets across the country, where the caller would pretend to be a policeman, get the manger to take an employee into a back area (by accusing them of theft), and seeing what he could get them to do to the employee. The tendencies were voyeuristic in nature, the guy apparently was getting off by being obeyed and by hearing/imagining what was going on. In the McDonald's case in 2004, a young woman was accused of stealing money from a customer and then over a period of a few hours was strip-searched, cavity-searched, spanked, humiliated, and then coerced into giving the man guarding her oral sex, before they finally realized the caller was not a policeman.
it sounds extremely silly when I just say it like this -- how stupid ARE people? -- but that's why this movie is helpful. The people involved aren't geniuses but they aren't stupid either, and you can basically watch and listen to the situation unfold and track how the caller is getting people to comply with his wishes -- he's friendly, reasonable, starts gradually, never gives any doubt that the girl is guilty even when there are questions about it, gets the management on his side by complimenting them, joking with them, empathizing with them... I imagine it went down very similarly to this.
Personally, because of my nature, I would have thought it was bull -- I just know that what the guy was doing is not standard cop operating procedure, the policeman would not be involving civilians in these kinds of efforts -- and it's kind of ironic that the scruffiest and most wasted employee there returns near the end and is the one to finally break the spell (because he calls a spade a spade). But meanwhile, the personalities, and ages, and situations of the people involved led to the abuse of a young woman. It's incredible what people are willing to do when they believe they are being told to do it by a credible authority.
i found the movie rather painful to watch, because of the subject matter and because I knew the whole time the call was a fake, so it was frustrating to watch the people involve continually fail to see through the ruse.
The guy who played the caller, I think, also played the male hotel clerk in The Innkeepers.