Unfriended (2014)

Director: Levan Gabriadze
Starring. Heather Sossaman, Matthew Bohrer, Shelly Hennig, Moses Storm, Jacob Wysocki. USA. 1h 23m

Just when you thought it was safe to turn on your pc and bitch about your dead class mates.. think again mofos! Unfriended is a modern found footage desktop horror. A group of friends are chatting together online when their dead “friends’” account comes online and starts terrorising them both on and offline, with the threat that if they close the chat then they die, but staying in the group chat doesn’t change their fate either they are stuck between a rock and a hard place and forced to sit back and watch each others demise, but they get to view the disgusting violent ends of their BBF instead.

It’s the anniversary of Laura Barns suicide, a year to the day she committed suicide after a video of her passing out and crapping herself at a party went viral. On this tragic anniversary her former best friend Blaire enters a skype chat with her boyfriend and some of her close friends but when Laura’s facebook account starts sending messages they expect that someone in the group is pranking them. One by one each of the teens are outed on social media and then begin to act strange and appear to kill themselves, has Laura come back for revenge?

Well it’s so obvious what’s going on here, it’s pretty easy to work out who leaked the video and who’s back for her revenge, the only expectations are the slayings and they are pretty silly, one girl drinks some bleach, which is plausible, as she was skyping from the laundry room, another guy just happens to have a blender in his bedroom and finds a way of using that off himself. A blender? I don’t even have one to hand in my kitchen I keep it in a cupboard, is that weird?

The idea is pure gold, using social media as a tool for a found footage basis is something that really awoke the genre again and I think that’s what got a lot of bums on seats in the cinema, but the payoff was just lousy,  it’s hard to feel afraid when you’ve personally not encouraged someone to kill themselves so really the audience were routing for the dead chick, but with a year of planning she coulda come up with something a bit more elaborate, I’d wanna make em suffer bwhahaahaaa!

It’s quite a familiar scene, teen faces looking down their webcam in a group chat on Skype and/or DMing each other on facebook, but when things start to go awry usually you just turn it off and put on a movie, call an adult or something right? These teens didn’t even work out how to go live or work out a neat hashtag for their night of bloody carnage. #allmyfriendsaredying  #shoudlaneveruploadedthatvideo #godgaveusrockandroll. In terms of the movie being an experiment of a real time online horror it could have worked better as a live “game” experience, but in the terms of a movie which is limited to mobile and laptop of the main characters also limits the audience’s depth of perception and attention. It would have been cool if you could have dialled in on your mobile while the film was on to “tune in” to some of the action.. not there’s an idea!!

Let’s hope that lessons have been learnt for the upcoming sequel, and I hope that we all know that cyberbullying is bad.. ok..

Rating 3/10

RUnfriended : Dark Web (2018), Friend Request (2017), E-Demon (2018), Truth or Dare (2018), Dark Summer (2015)
L – A-Z of Found Footage Movies, Cyber Found Footage Movies
A – How believable does horror have to be?

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