Movie Review – Unfriended (2015)

Director: Leo Gabriadze

Stars: Shelley Henning, Moses Storm, Renee Olstead, Will Peltz, Jacob Wysocki, Courtney Halverson, Heather Sossamon

Two years ago Laura Barns committed suicide after an embarrassing video of her was leaked. On the anniversary of her death a group of friends are video chatting when they start receiving messages from her account. Fearing they’ve been hacked, they try to deal with this mysterious person who is typing to them, when one by one they get involved in a deadly game where all their darkest secrets are revealed.

I actually achieved a dream when I went to see Unfriended for it was the first time that I ever had the entire cinema to myself. Initially I was happy but, well, a horror film may not have been the best one to be completely alone. It’s a found footage film but it’s not as annoying as some other ones because it’s filmed entirely from a computer screen. I like it when films are experimental and try something different, and I felt like this one worked. I enjoyed the style and how it used the layout of a computer to ratchet up the tension, for example how it used the limited camera angle to cloak the action in mystery.

It deals with a serious issue as well because cyberbullying is becoming more and more common, and although it’s not a moral commentary it does show the consequences of speech on the internet, and how it can matter what you type and the manner in which you cyber-speak.

Some of the characters are annoying, as we learn more about them their fear increases and by the end I was on the edge of my seat. I thought the actors did a great job and I’d be interested to see how this was filmed because none of them were ever in the same room as each other so I’m wondering if they were all filmed separately or whether they had an actual group video call.

There is some suspension of disbelief required. I’m no tech expert but I’m pretty sure that some of the things that happen to their computers just aren’t possible, and I know some people are going to be annoyed by the ultimate resolution of the story, but it actually worked for me. I was creeped out and I felt the tension and I feel the film had the effect it intended. I enjoyed it a lot and it gets a recommendation from me.

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