I have a theory that the idea for Unfriended came from one horror executive talking to another and casually mentioning that, “Wow, technology is amazing. More and more of our lives are moving online.” To this, the other executive looked back at the first executive and said, “That’s interesting Jason, but our jobs are to make movies.” After this, the first executive looked at the second executive and the second executive looked back at the first executive and Unfriended was born.
Unfriended takes place online. The entire film is put together as if the audience is able to observe the character’s computer screens. It’s an admittedly interesting gimmick, and the filmmakers don’t skimp out; the entire movie really does take place through a view of various computer screens. The story follows a group of friends as they casually skype on the 1-year anniversary of the day that one of their friends, Laura Barns, committed suicide. However, there is an unknown user in their chat conversation that they can’t get rid of. Eventually, things start going wrong and the film turns into a Agatha Christie-esque thriller as the friends die, one by one.
Because the film takes place on the internet, I feel like there may be some people who are turned off from the movie because it’s not always a 100% accurate depiction of how the internet works. While there were moments that took me out of the film, I very quickly accepted that this was a movie and it has slightly different logic, and if you suspend your disbelief ever so slightly, you can end up having a very good time.
Similar to many other found footage films, the cast is filled with mostly unknown and somewhat generic-looking actors. The performances are all pretty good though, which is doubly exciting because the performances occur in a non-traditional way, because of the movie’s format. The biggest problem I had with the film is that there are numerous scares throughout, and none of them work too well. They’re all really campy and cut together for pure shock value, and that just doesn’t really work with the rest of the movie.
This is not a revolutionary horror film, but it is an entertaining one. It’s trashy and stupid, but embraces those characteristics, and doesn’t try to be anything more than a fun gimmick. It’s worth a watch, but it won’t leave you with too much to ponder when it’s over. Although I’m sure it will be around the same quality, I’m not excited for the inevitable sequel. I’ve seen this movie once, I don’t really need to see it again in a few years. 6/10.