“I gave myself a week after it’s release to decide if I really did want to see this. Reviews weren’t as painful as I feared (some even positive, as it’s holding at 60% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), and God knows I’d rather see this than Age of Adeline.
I’ve said many times that I love horror, but I’m picky about it. I wrote about that as recent as It Follows a few weeks back. The (admitedly gimmicky) set up for Unfriended is what caught my attention, despite the bad title.
Trying to use some of that currently technology that all the kids are using these days, the whole thing plays out on a high school girl’s computer screen. She’s Skype-ing her friends, getting Facebook messages, playing music, etc. Oh and she (and her friends) are also being cyber haunted by the ghost of a girl who killed herself exactly one year ago, the result of cyber bullying.
I was actually kinda surprised as how well the format worked. I typically don’t care for found footage, and I may not have found the film to be particularly scary, but it was an interesting and different take on a genre that’s been done to death. The limited viewpoints (completely with screens freezing and not loading properly) was effective in creating a sense of fear of the unknown. Where found footage usually falls flat for me, is that there’ll be times when it’s hard to believe that someone was still filming something, or that certain angles just happened to be caught. The kids all on their computers got around that issue (good job, team), but that just meant that the feasibility dropped elsewhere for me. I could completely go with the idea of a ghost in the internet controlling everything. How she was able to then manifest and hurt people IRL, yeeeaah not so much.
Unfortunately, the biggest point against the movie (and the one that I most feared) was that the kids were so annoying. I don’t like high school kids, particularly high school girls. I say this having been one. We’re awful. The way she’d whine if her boy didn’t respond to a message within ten seconds, the catty-ness between the characters, the bitchy self assurance. Ugh. Could not stand. That said, as someone who was a victim of constant bullying in high school, there was some satisfaction gained in seeing the cool clique get their comeuppance. While it was fun to see how the youngun’s use their various apps and devices, I am beyond thankful that such tools weren’t as widely used when I was their age. For me, at least the bullying stopped when the bell rang. It didn’t continue into cyber bullying when I got home. Maybe this movie will be a lesson to those kids who terrorize others? Probably not.
Unfriended – \m/ \m/ \n