Unfriended (2014)

unfriended-movie-poster-review
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 6/10

Interesting attempt at new horror

Rather dull and uncompelling

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Unfriended

Studio:  Bazelevs Company

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  July 20, 2014 (Fantasia Film Festival)/April 17, 2015 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

unfriended-2014-movie-review-jess-killed-hair-straightener-renee-ostead-social-media-horror

Who’s the cyber-bully now?

Blaire Lily (Shelley Hennig) and Mitch Roussel (Moses Jacob Storm) are just having a night-time online chat when their friends join in their conversation.  It is the anniversary of the death of Laura Barns (Heather Sossaman) who killed herself after an anonymous video was posted of her at a party.  The friends are hiding secrets and when a mysterious person jumps into the chat, they cannot get rid of them…has Laura come back to reveal the truth of her death?

Directed by Leo Gabriadze, Unfriended was an experimental horror-film.  The movie was previewed at the Fantasia Film Festival (under the name Cybernatural) in 2014 but did not receive wide release until 2015.  The movie garnered mixed reviews with some praising the attempt and others condemning it.  The low-budget film had a strong box office return.

unfriended-2014-movie-review-ken-blender-death-jacob-wysocki-social-media-horror

So the “heavy-set” kid is the one who who knows about computers, is mouthy, and gets killed by a blender…way to break stereotypes Unfriended

I have to say I wasn’t too excited about Unfriended since it seemed like a flavor of the week type movie.  The combination of social media and found footage films seemed a little off-putting, but I decided to try it due to some positive reviews.  Unfriended left me with mixed emotions.

Someone was going to make a social media movie and the decision to make it an all-webcam based film was a brave one.  There is always seems to be a niche for horror based on new technology since inherently technology is “evil”.  Unfriended’s plot is both too cliché and hip at the same time for it to work however.  It just is dull…and suffers the classic found footage crisis of not really showing any of the horror.

unfriended-2014-movie-review-jess-killed-hair-straightener-renee-ostead-social-media-horror

Who’s the cyber-bully now?

The cast likewise is pretty bland.  With small windows and rather typical teens, you don’t ever get a real feel for any of them.  The films tries to be pretty natural and have the kids talk to each other like they’ve known each other for years…but as the viewer, you don’t and therefor you get no character development…which hurts the already generic plot line.

Though the catch of the movie is the web cam style, it also is what hurts it.  Unfriended could have been made as a classic linear film with the kids in their rooms and panicking with a mixed media approach, but then the weaknesses of the plot would have been more evident.  By putting it as an “online” film, you witness the screen of Blaire Lily…but watching a person type isn’t compelling film footage.

Unfriended was interesting in its attempt, but ultimately fails.  I will say that watching on a computer in a window makes it even more bizarre and the makers should have possibly have released it as a “web-only” film to tie into that theme.  Despite some unique gimmicks, I don’t think I can really “like” Unfriended.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response