Stylistically I hate everything about UNFRIENDED. This may make me sound old. But I do not want to watch a “movie” which is a characters computer screen for 82 minutes. I'm sorry but if you ask me, that's not a movie! However, I do think that there is something a tad clever going on here. But staring at iMessage, Facebook, Google, and Skype for almost an hour and a half is not my idea of a fun night at the movies.
That clever thing I was talking about is that the filmmakers may have reinvented the dead teenager/revenge slasher horror sub genre? But I'm probably giving the makers of UNFRIENDED too much credit. One film that may come to mind is I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, which if you are a horror fan you should be able to dig deeper than that. I was thinking more along the lines of the early eighties slashers, where the killer is getting revenge for something embarrassing that happened to them or a loved one.
A group of online chat room friends find themselves being terrorized by a mysterious, supernatural force using the account of their dead friend. Laura killed herself after being embarrassed because of a video that was uploaded of her acting a drunk fool.
Kids, don't be a bully. Especially don't cyberbully. Thank goodness there wasn't YouTube or camera phones around when I was in school. Because if what happened to Laura happened to me, then yeah I'd want to kill myself to! I won't spoil it, but it's embarrassing and gross.
So one by one the chat room friends get killed and eventually a game of 'I Never' is played so that Laura can get her “friends” to fess up. This was when I couldn't take the gimmick any longer. I was getting annoyed looking at a computer screen.
Watching and hearing the audience reaction was the best part of UNFRIENDED which helped the movie be entertaining. In fact, if it wasn't for a sold out auditorium I would have probably walked out and asked to see another movie. Rarely do I go see a horror movie in the evening, because I am such a wuss. The downfall is that I miss the audience reaction which is the best part of seeing a scary movie, good or bad.
When the movie was over I overheard two groups of people talking about how awesome they all thought the movie was. And it made me wonder what would this group of people think about THE BABADOOK? I bring this up because I finally got to see THE BABADOOK. A film that is amazing, but I didn't think so at first. Admittedly I was a tad harsh on the symbolism and artiness of the movie. I'll get into that more if I ever review the film. But my point is that it took something like UNFRIENDED for me to see the greatness in THE BABADOOK.
In closing I can't recommend UNFRIENDED, based on the simple fact that stylistically I hated the movie. If the future of cinema is watching a computer screen then count me out.*
*Watching a trailer on a smartphone or tablet is the only exception.