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Thursday, 22nd August 2019

Film Review: “Unfriended”

Kim Rescate
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Kim Rescate

Creative Director at Pink Egg Media
Kim Rescate
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Rating:4stars

“Unfriended” is a creative addition to the horror genre. This is the horror movie of our time. It will hit uncomfortably close to home. – Kim Rescate, Pink Egg Media

“Ushering in a new era of horror, Universal Pictures’ “Unfriended” unfolds over a teenager’s computer screen as she and her friends are stalked by an unseen figure who seeks vengeance for a shaming video that led a vicious bully to kill herself a year earlier,” the description of the movie on its website.

 The bully is Laura Barns who killed herself after demoralizing cell phone videos and photos of her are posted all over social media for everyone in the world to see. Her suicide ends up posted on the internet as well.

 The entire movie plays out on Blaire’s computer monitor, one of the main characters; switching from Skype, Message app, Facebook, YouTube, to a weird website with tips featuring dubious demon-fighting tips.

 Blaire is first seen chatting casually with her boyfriend Mitch. After a few minutes, their friends join the Skype conversation and notice an anonymous avatar. This mysterious character gradually contaminates their computer programs, their relationships, and their psyches.

04

 The six characters consisting of Blaire, Mitch, Jess, Adam, Ken, and Val are all pretty much self-involved teens who aren’t particularly likeable characters. Their messages are riddled with horrible and insensitive remarks to each other and of their schoolmates.

07

 The movie takes us on the realities of being bullied and how people that bully perceive themselves to be. Moral and ethical judgments peppered throughout. The characters are so casually malicious. “Unfriended” reminds us of how fragile our online world really is; it takes just one post to bring it crashing down. Behind the curtain of anonymity many indulge their cruelest impulses from a distance, taking the open space of the internet, and turning it into a weapon.

 At times the movie feels a little slow as we watch the characters type to each other. Although it’s understandable to have it in this format to show the authenticity of real time online interactions, it could have been helped with some zooming in on some key pieces of the conversations.

 “Unfriended” is a very creative and innovative addition to the horror genre. This is the horror movie of our time; when almost all of us have dealt with an internet troll or some form of harassment and bullying online. It doesn’t matter what age you are, this movie will hit uncomfortably close to home.

Starring: Shelley Hennig, Moses Storm, Renee Olstead, Will Peltz, Jacob Wysocki, Courtney Halverson, and Heather Sossaman.

MPAA rating: Rated R for violent content, pervasive language, some sexuality, and drug and alcohol use – all involving teens.

Running time: 82 minutes

Rating: 4/5