Looking at: Unfriended

Well that was laughable. Unfriended is a new horror film trying to utilize social media and technology. The whole film takes place during a skype conversation between six friends and the computer screen is all we’re looking at in the film.

Now the concept was interesting. I saw the trailer quite a while ago and it had peaked my interest as there are so many films that failed to use social media and computers effectively in film (one of the recent ones trying this was Men, Women and Children). The film moves very seamlessly and the on-screen nature of it keeps you engaged with it’s added trinkets such as open tabs and cluttered desktop. It appears quite authentic.

However, it’s a shame that the film has to feature such unlikeable characters and have a very tried and tested plot. It takes place on the anniversary of a girls suicide. The film opens with the protagonist Blaire watching the suicide video and then moves to have a skype conversation with her boyfriend, which is later invaded by their friends and they start their meaningless conversation about how horrible people they all are. They are also joined by a random user with no profile picture. They discover it’s the dead girl’s account (Laura Barns). From here the “horror” starts. Same story, spirit comes back to haunt the characters, they all die one by one in some gruesome death and there’s some life decision at the end.

The concept was interesting, but the characters are those typical middle classed, white suburban, teenagers who have completely no depth to them and are at the surface relatively vile people. It is revealed that one of these characters was the cause of Laura’s suicide as an embarrassing video of her was uploaded by one of the group. There’s no investment with the characters, even the “virgin” character is a borderline emotionally bankrupt. When they start dying you just relish in the fact that we are now rid of such filth. The plot is thin and nothing new. They only part which I found interesting was when the characters started turning on each other, resulting to their survival instincts and revealing hurtful secrets. But even that was predictable.

The film is just laughable. I really hope the next film using this gimmick is some what better.



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