UNFRIENDED REVIEW

unfriended-poster

I’ll unfriend anyone who liked this film.

A little harsh. Some might say. But you know you’re onto a loser when everyone in the cinema is laughing. Uninspiring, unattractive and uninteresting.

As soon as the crackly Universal logo started buffering across the screen, I feared the worst.

So what’s this tripe about? A group of online chat room friends find themselves haunted by a mysterious, supernatural force using the account of their dead friend.

We see everything through the POV of Shelley Hennig’s character Blaire and the webcams of her friends. An intriguing concept, I’ll admit. That was if we wasn’t watching a teenage girl nosing around on a Mac.

The creepy YouTube video of her high school friend committing suicide certainly caught my attention and it was clever how the Facebook posts and clips filled in everything we needed to know. A malicious prank (That felt like something out of the Inbetweeners) inevitably triggers an online bullying campaign by trolls.

The notion of cyber-bullying is something that needs to be addressed but this film merely uses it as a lazy ploy for a vindictive cyber-demon.

What infuriated me was the lack in pace. Bearing in mind we are seeing a teenage girl, fully active in the social media age and adapted to the relentless technological gadgetry; she was incredibly slow at moving her mouse around. It was like watching my 80 year old aunt slowly clicking on each tab, killing any suspense or tension that the film failed to build up.

Hennig and Moses Storm were such a vomit inducing couple. Using Skype to waste screen time and bore me with cheesy, cliched dialogue that did little to make me feel anything for them. Also an online foreplay sequence involving a knife definitely set the wrong tone for its teen audience and came off unfunny and questionable.

I was praying for the troll or demon thing to make an appearance after ten minutes of listening to them whining about making Prom Night THE night and messing around with their blasted Spotify playlists.

And then the Skype chat begins and I wish I walked out. The cast were terrible. Let me rephrase. The characters were terrible. Irritating, obnoxious, deluded and stupid! As soon as Jacob Wysocki bellowed through the tinny speakers, “I can see your chodies” with his face stuffed full of Cheetos, I knew I was done.

The mindless chatter and desperate attempts to fuse any tension between the characters was futile. The flicking back and forth between the Skype chats and private Facebook chats was well done. It was just a shame that the conversations were so bland.

However, as soon as the anonymous Skype member joined in and Blaire started receiving messages from her dead BFF, my interest was finally piqued.

It was slow burning and I don’t mind that if there is a big pay off. A moment of ingenuity, suspense, shock! I had to remember that they are teenagers and some of their decisions may have been stupid but not too similar to the majority of teens out there that would do the same thing.

And some of the more logical steps they do try. Deleting said dead friend off Facebook. I didn’t know how to do that. Not remove dead friends obviously. Reporting forums. Virus software if a troll has managed to get onto your server. So I will commend where credit is due.

BUT the bickering. The yelling. It gave me a headache. It’s not long before secrets are leaked out on Facebook. The ridiculous demon forums with their silly chain letters. My teacher spoke to a demon last night and woke up dead. Perrrrleeeassseee.

Will Peltz played the douchebag Adam well but his actions and volatile behaviour were comical. Grabbing a gun from his desk and threatening an online cyber troll through a webcam was stupid. What made it worse was that the dodgy stuff hadn’t even happened yet. This was 30 minutes in when ANONYMOUS asked to play a game.

When things inevitably take a turn for the worst, there were little pockets of tension but little scares. The rule of the game being: YOU LOG OUT. YOU DIE. YOU DON’T PLAY THE GAME. YOU DIE. You get the picture. A scene in which one of the users is “punished” was just plain messed up. It surprised me. The one and only time. I thought to myself, “Okay. Going for the Saw angle. I’ll go with this”. Hand. Blender. Woah. That’s all I’m saying.

BUT alas after that little shocker, we have more squealing, more yelling and more rubbish. The game was actually not that bad. BUT the little conversations away from the Skype chat soon bored me again. Blaire still believes that it is a joke set up by her BF after two messed up deaths? Come on. She keeps typing to him in a private chat and doesn’t even look at the Skype chat window to see he is not typing and completely freaking out.

Then we have the shocking confessions as the friends turn against each other. The inevitable “Who leaked the video?” that caused so-and-so’s death? The reveal being utterly predictable and disappointing. And what do you know? They weren’t such good friends after all.

After failing to deliver scares, it went for plain stupidity. Using Chat Roulette to call for help. Seriously? Lordy lord. It got the biggest laugh out of the film. Now if this was a comedy, it would have been great. BUT in a film that promised Paranormal Activity meets Cyberbully, it was devastating. A girl in tears asking two stoners to call the police because her friend is being killed by something she doesn’t know. Unbelievable.

If you want a nail biting, tension setting thriller that deals with the true horror of online cyber bullying, please watch the superior Channel 4 drama Cyberbully with Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones. It was also brought to my attention by fellow blogger MOVIEBLORT that Unfriended stole the premise of a smaller (and better) horror film, The Den. That’s the most shocking twist of it all.

http://movieblort.com/2014/04/23/96-the-den-2014-a-young-woman-studying-the/

The finale finally got going as me and my friends were getting ready to go. I thought maybe we will break out of the POV when the demon appears? Oh for a only brief – TRANSMISSION ENDED.

AVOID!

1/5

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17 thoughts on “UNFRIENDED REVIEW

  1. Gotta say, I enjoyed this one more than I believed I would. I think they missed an opportunity with the ending and high school aged-kids are high-school aged kids, but I’m not mad I viewed! Nice thoughts though!

    1. Ah no MovieMan! Haha. Each to their own. They could have made more with the ending and yes that’s a good point why can’t these high school aged kids? I’m just fed up of seeing films like this just lazily churning out a cheap scare. I guess I go in expecting too much from horror these days 😦

    1. Thank you Brett! I normally try and be less ranty with films but it’s not good enough. There are too many films like this out there that are destroying horror for me. They could have really made something with this. Shame.

  2. Cheers for the reference, nice to see The Den get some loving. Good review again. It’s just a hype machine – one person gets scared by something that looks like an original concept and suddenly everyone else gets freaked out. It feels like the distance between what is deemed ‘good’ and ‘bad’ horror has never been greater – it’s not simply the fact that being scared is subjective and people are ‘used to it’, it’s that horror has largely become lazy.

    It results to cheap shit like this, and abhorrent shock value horror that serves no purpose. I have a stack of unwatched horror dvds at home that I can’t even bring myself to watch because I know I’ll be disappointed.

    1. Also, I know it’s not horror, but there are other films that use the ‘online web chat’ thing to a much better conclusion;

      #1 Hard Candy – Unbelievable film about revenge on a Peadophile based out of an online chat.

      #2 Trust – David Schwimmers excellent movie about a young girl who fails to realise she has been groomed online/over the phone.

      #3 Chatroom – This was absolutely turgid, but still better than Unfriended. Merges the reality and web world as individuals try and get each other to do awful stuff to each other.

      #4 You, Me, And Everyone We Know – This is arguably my favourite internet web scene of all time. Definitely not horror, but fucking hilarious;

      1. Sweet. I’ll definitely check out the David Schwimmer one. Hard Candy was very good. A proper nail biter. Tense stuff. The others I haven’t heard of. Oh wait Chatroom I heard bad things but after Unfriended . . . I’ll give anything a go. My mate just text saying he is seeing Unfriended tonight. Any good? My response: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=umDr0mPuyQc

    2. Cheers. Glad you didn’t mind the reference. I would rather refer people to horror films that try than ones that don’t. Bang on! The distance between good and bad couldn’t be further right now. Insidious 3 and Paranormal 6. Is that all we have to look forward to for horror?

      1. The ones on my unwatched DVD list are;

        7 Days
        Haute Tension
        Let The Right One In
        Ichi The Killer
        Memories of Murder
        Tale of Two Sisters
        Inside
        The Orphanage

        Where do I begin?

      2. Okay I only know 3 of them haha. But I highly recommend The Orphanage, then Let The Right One In. Ichi The Killer my friend told me about that one. He said its messed up so check that out lol. The others I’ll have to check out as well.

  3. Ye gods that film was a clunker. As a concept it might have just about worked as a 30 minute episode of the Twilight Zone, but even at the thankfully short length of 84 odd minutes it felt way too padded with the run time kept up with her using the max very slowly.

    1. Yeah definitely. 30 min one-off YES! 84 minute movie. NOOOOO! They really struggled to drag the concept out and it didn’t help that the characters were so irritating!

      1. Also the Webcam style got very tiring on the eye and made it hard to watch. The only half way likable character to me was the chubby stoner who got his hand mangled

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