The rise of social media has been a good thing for a lot of people. You can now see what all your old school friends are doing (posting a million pictures of their newborn isn’t so much fun but that’s a whole another point), you can make friends with people who live in another country etc. But like with everything, social media also has a darker side. Cyber bullying has never been a bigger problem and Unfriended focuses on the effect that cyber bullying can have on a person.
When an embarrassing video of Laura Barns (Heather Sossaman) surfaces on the internet all hell breaks loose for her. People tell her to kill herself and in an act of desperation she does. Nobody feels guilty about it and a year passes without anything strange happening. But then a group of friends get contacted by someone (or something) that uses Laura her social media accounts to contact them. And whatever that thing is, it isn’t friendly.
The unique thing about Unfriended is the way that it is filmed: we see everything from one of the main characters her computer screen. We see her having a friendly Skype conversation with friends and we follow everything that happens through their webcams. The movie was shot in 1 long take which gives you the feeling that this is an actual conversation. The way that it is presented (the screen sometimes get a bit distorted, just like in Skype) really add to the authenticity.
All the actors do a solid job but it’s a shame that they are just a bunch of stereotypes. They also don’t really give out a lot of back story which make some of the secrets that the spirit reveals feel pretty ‘meh’. Same with the deaths; you know so little about the characters that it’s impossible to get attached to any of them. And this isn’t a slasher movie that just wants to rack up a body count; Unfriended really wants you to care.
Conclusion: Take away the unique point of view and Unfriended is your basic ‘supernatural’ revenge movie. It’s a shame that the characters didn’t have more back story because that would have made the film a lot better; now you don’t really care when someone dies because you don’t feel attached to any of them.