‘Unfriended’ – Review
By Lynn Sorel
Rating: 6 out of 10
Synopsis: A group of online chat room friends find themselves haunted by a mysterious, supernatural force using the account of their dead friend.
Our Thoughts: ‘Unfriended’ is a new breed of found footage film that takes place entirely on a computer screen in real time. Teens talking to each other on video chat drives the storyline.
After an embarrassing video of a girl named Laura Barnes is posted online, she commits suicide. On the anniversary of her death, a mysterious account begins calling her friends online. Her Facebook account also begins contacting them. The group assumes it’s the work of a hacker. Private photos and messages begin being posted on their accounts without their control. When they look at the profile of the mystery account it turns out that it is also belonged to Laura. It begins threatening them and exposing their secrets, taking their lives one by one.
They do a good job of building suspense. However, the story is fairly predictable. The film is surprisingly gory despite being found footage style. The normal glitches that happen with video chat are included, which is rather annoying at times, but also adds to the suspense. My major issue was that the very end felt out of place, as it was the only scene that goes outside of the computer screen. It came off feeling cheesy to me.
I found this film to be more of a guilty pleasure, in that I enjoyed it despite it not really offering anything new horror, or anything really original, other than the format. It’s a classic revenge tale and the perpetrators get what’s coming to them, which is hard not to enjoy. It does play out very problems in the social media world, where all our secrets can be exposed and where friends can betray each other in the worst ways. Aside from the supernatural aspect, this is a very serious topic, particularly in youth culture today, and especially when suicide becomes a factor in the most extreme cases.
The acting was a high point in the film. Shelley Hennig was excellent as the terrified Blaire. Moses Storm was very believable as the betrayed Mitch Roussel. If you like found footage, or the idea of ‘Unfriended’, you should check it out. While it’s not the next great horror film, or the best in found footage, it is an enjoyable way to spend an evening.