Horror movies are almost always a byproduct of what’s happening in society, a way to digest the real horrors of the world. A Nightmare on Elm Street came at a time when every milk carton featured a photo of some poor missing child. You’re Next is a testament to how unsafe we feel in this world, even in our own homes. Unfriended reminds us that the Internet is often used as a weapon.
Because found footage horror movies are increasingly becoming the norm it’s difficult to find a refreshing take on the genre but Unfriended manages to do just that. See ya later nauseating shakey camera angles (WHY ARE YOU STILL HOLDING THE CAMERA?). Say hello to everyone’s favorite cam, the laptop cam. Someone finally figured out a way to make sense of the concept that the cameras are still rolling because I think we can all agree if we were in ANY found footage horror film we would have abandoned filming AGES ago. Dare I say they’ve REBOOTED the genre?
On the one year anniversary of a friend’s suicide, due to cyberbullying, 6 friends meet up via Skype to I Know What You Did Last Summer style commiserate. Unbeknownst to them they are not alone, a sinister force is eavesdropping on their chat. Soon they are receiving threatening messages from their dead friend’s social media page (everyone’s worst nightmare tbh and why you should definitely Will your FB page to someone before you die). The film quickly becomes a revenge plot as the virtual harassment turns violent and deadly.
Honestly this film feels like an unintentional dark comedy at times which helps offset the shockingly gory, yet fun, death scenes that are vaguely reminiscent of the Final Destination franchise (most fun deaths, 5 out of 5). Watching a film via a computer via a large screen is a bit confusing. I hate to sound meta but Unfriended is probably best watched on an actual laptop. The characters are, in a nutshell, boring teens whose deaths you don’t really mourn but since it’s a horror film I’m not really here to make friends. I’m actually here to UNFRIEND (sorry). Based on the title alone I expect loads of people might end up skipping this film. Personally, before I read anything about it, I scoffed at the idea that the Millennials’ idea of horror is losing a friend on social media. This film is so much more than that and could at some point be considered a classic of the found footage genre. Now, please follow me on Twitter and find me on Facebook, obviously.