The horror world has constantly got its wheels turning in the “found footage” genre. Always trying to impress us and keep us interested by churning out movie after movie, whether it be good or bad. When it comes down to it, everyone really just wants to make something original. Unfriended ditched the usual handheld cameras and went for a more tech-savvy approach by telling its story through Skype video, iChat, and Facebook messages in a new spin on an old tale of revenge.
Unfriended is shown entirely through the laptop screen of high schooler Blaire Lily (Shelley Hennig) as she and her five friends chat away on Skype about whatever it is that teenagers talk about. When a seventh, and mysterious, stranger pops up (and won’t seem to leave) in the chat, the friends are confronted by the ugly past of their part in the suicide of classmate, Laura Barns. Forced to play a deadly game of “Never Have I Ever”, everyone is trying to figure out if it’s all a cruel joke or if the spirit of Laura is out for some payback.
While we can all relate to Unfriended in this day and age as far as social media and the internet essentially ruling our every waking moments, the film is also definitely geared towards the younger crowd- specifically teenagers. Anyone over 25 might have a harder time being really entertained by the film. Director Levan Gabriadaze and writer Nelson Greaves were able to create some genuinely suspenseful scenes in the short 82 min runtime of the film- especially given that everything takes place in tiny chat windows. Amongst the here and there jump scares, several of the death scenes were pretty violent and grisly. And while they were mostly unlikeable, the cast flowed perfectly together as if they really were high school pals.
Unfriended isn’t groundbreaking by any means, as films such as The Den and most recently, Open Windows, already covered the horrors of the internet. While the other films treaded more onto the elaborate side of storytelling, Unfriended excelled in the realness of its subject matter. It ultimately deals with the consequences of bullying- online and in real life. It’s the age old morality tale of what happens when you’re an asshole to other people. While the chances of a ghost haunting your Skype chats because you’re a douche bag are slim, you’ll probably never be able to hear the Skype call ringtone again without getting a little nervous.
UNFRIENDED in now in theaters everywhere. It is directed by Levan Gabriadze and stars Shelley Hennig, Moses Jacob Storm, Renee Olstead, Will Peltz, Jacob Wysocki, Courtney Halverson and Heather Sossaman.
Categories: Horror Movie Reviews