I had no idea what to expect going into this movie. I picked it up because it was a new horror movie and I hadn’t seen one in a while. So, I left the kids playing video games, turned out the lights and fired it up.
It opens with a computer screen. We watch as a mouse clicks around and some videos are watched of Laura Barnes committing suicide and the cyberbullying that led to the occurrence. So now we have our premise and I’m thinking, “time to start watching the movie.” But no. The entire thing is shown from the perspective of our main character’s computer screen! It’s weird. And a bit Blair Witch Project I guess.
As the movie progresses, a group of our lead’s friends are Skyping online when a creepy new presence appears to be watching their conversation anonymously. The mystery guest knows all about their cyberbullying and want to make them pay for their actions. This is where the movie really gets odd. One by one the chatting teens are killed off in typical horror movie style, but it never fully explains how. They just sort of die in weird ways for no apparent reason. They movie takes a weirder turn when the mysterious killer plays “Never Have I Ever” with the teens and they help come up with the questions! That’s about when it stopped being scary for me. Until that point I found it cheesy but suspenseful.
I’m not going to go into any more depth because I don’t like spoilers. I think I’ve been vague enough here though.
The online chatting teens are constantly swearing and insulting each other which is sadly fairly accurate to teens using social media today. While the premise of the movie is a little strange, the idea that cyberbullying leads people to suicide is very serious and very real. It’s sad that a movie like this has any basis in reality, but with the social media driven, tell-people-every-little-opinion-you-have-without-filtering-your-words world we live in, it’s surprising that more people aren’t affected by it.
Unfriended will not be gracing the shelves of my personal DVD collection. I just didn’t think it was that good. But it was definitely an interesting commentary on the influence of social media.
How can we all use social media to build others up instead of tear them down? Comment me!