In this day and age, it is really easy to dehumanise humanity via the internet. Cyberbullying has become an alarming trend that effects children, adults and even celebrities - even pushing some people to suicide. This act is shocking, even more so when you realise that the people more likely to take you down through the medium of websites and social media such as Facebook are your friends and sometimes, you’re family.
Naturally, this tentative cycle of electronic attacks and insults have seeped into our cinematic consciousness and on the small television soon. After all, only this year did Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams appear in a small television drama Cyberbully to highlight the effects of “trolling” through the internets.
But this new horror film, Unfriended, (which, by the way, used to be called Cybernatural and the fact they changed it from an epic pun really disappoints me), takes a more sinister turn.
For a conceptual novelty film, Unfriended does well on keeping it completely fresh and actually terrifying. Director Levan Gabriadze has endeavoured to bring social media to horrific heights and does it with such ease that you’ll marvel at the innovative back story film with such an hook that will drag people in. There are enough jumps and screams through the blurry webcam that you can sit happily shitting yourself at the ghoulish antics that frolic through tweets, IMs and phone calls. The originality beats with this great dreaded vibe and lavish amounts of gore that completes this enjoyable new movie - one that is inspired enough to bring a good youth audience in and some adults too.
That’s not to say that the young cast such as Shelley Hennig, Will Peltz and Renne Oldstead don’t wrap their talents and chops around the subject, tone and dialogue to create an entertaining set of deplorable characters. In particular, lead Hennig makes a perfect Scream Queen as she tackles the increasingly disturbing hoopla online. The events, though lagging in some places, do unfold in a somewhat genius way and as Gabriadze pushes the boundaries of horror and fleshes out the concept, he should be celebrated for piecing together a great film and giving it enough uniqueness and terror to scare, shock and jump. Though I doubt it’d spark a series of “internet found footage” films, it stands strong against a backdrop of predictable and lazy films and, more importantly, stands out. Unfriended may not be the best film you’ll see this weekend, but it is definitely not the worst. Click accept in this film request now.
Unfriended is out May 1st!