With the film The Blair Witch Project’s release in 1999 the found footage genre of film has been quite popular and used over and over. At the beginning it was a fresh voice in the film world then it became tired and overused. Now when a film using the found footage style is released I cannot help but roll my eyes in response. When this film was presented as part of last summer’s Fantasia film festival (under the title Cybernatural) it peaked my interest. Fantasia has a great reputation of screening strong films. I didn’t have the opportunity to catch it at Fantasia, so I was happy when I saw that it was getting a wide release affording me another opportunity to see Levan Gabriadze’s film.
A group of friends are video chatting one evening when they all get a message. It is a Skype message from a common friend who killed herself exactly one year ago. At the start they are all shocked but believe it to be a prank. Soon after they start taking it a lot more serious as their dead friend begins revealing all their secrets one by one. They begin to realize they are dealing with something supernatural and not of this world that wants them all dead.
A simple story is not necessarily a bad thing. Keeping things simple is sometimes the best choice. As a warning though, if you want something deep and meaningful look elsewhere. The scares are cheap and the laughs occasionally unintended, but it all adds up to a bit of fun. Conversations that occur between the teenagers are oftentimes hilarious due to their high level of ridiculousness. Superficial can be entertaining, though. What I did appreciate was the gore and realism involved in the various deaths in the film. Deliciously disturbing deaths.
Social network is something that is very prominent in the world we live in. Young people use it tons. It makes sense that a horror film would be made using the sometimes scary world of social networking.
Though I don’t go into films like this expecting Shakespearean quality acting there still is a minimum quality that should be happening. What I am awkwardly trying to get across is that the acting is rather awful in Unfriended. At times it is so bad that it distracts you from what is going on.
Unfriended is overall an entertaining film. It will have you tense and nervous at times while laughing at others. If you want to shut down your brain and shut out the world outside for one hour and twenty-two minutes then purchase a ticket for this film.