Unfriended [MOVIE REVIEW]

In terms of anticipation, I never really expected 'Unfriended' to be a masterpiece but I did really want to see how they were going to make a story that takes place entirely on a computer screen work for a feature length film. So now that I have seen it, does it work or does it get old really quick?

Right out of the gate, a movie like this could very easily just have used this premise as a gimmick. Just a forced way to try and create a new found-footage type subgenre... but it actually really works and the only reason it does is that it is not just a gimmick, it is not just used to be different. It actually does move the plot forward and we learn more about each character just through the way they formulate sentences or respond to things they see online. Our main character Blaire sometimes type something but before she sends it she removes it and types something different. It is a unique and really clever way to weave in exposition and character development while never grinding the movie to a halt. I do not think more movies can be made like this because it can easily get very dull and redundant. 'Unfriended' works because it is the first movie to try this to this extent and if more movies do... it is just not going to work as well because the practically do everything that is possible with this premise.

One of the main reasons this movie never becomes dull is all thanks to the acting as it is mostly very good. The main character is played by Shelley Hennig and she practically carries the whole thing in one of the best performances I have seen in a horror movie this whole year. It could have been so easy for this movie to completely fall apart due to the performances as the entire ship runs entirely on making us believe that this is a legit skype call that is happening.

However all is not well and good with the movie. While there was definitely not really a single dull moment to be found and the first half develops great tension - there is quite a big problem with all of these characters involved. Throughout the film we learn more and more things about them and all this just makes us dislike them more and more, to the point where I am pretty sure we are supposed to dislike them because they really are awful people. The problem here though is that we are also supposed to fear for their lives as there are quite a few emotional moments that clearly wants us to feel sorry for them and hope they make it out alive. It is kinda hard to feel bad for someone who is proven to just be an awful person in the rest of the movie and it just ends up feeling incredibly miscalculated.

'Unfriended' is not going to end up being one of the all-time greats in any capacity but if this style does end up becoming a new overused subgenre then I do hope people do not look back at this film saying "this is the garbage film that started it all", because this is a good movie despite the major flaws. I doubt a movie with this premise could be done better than this so out of principle the filmmakers definitely get an A for effort and with just a better understanding of how to make the audience care for the main characters then this could have been a great film. As it is though, it is surprisingly entertaining nonetheless and I would actually recommend it if you are at all curious.


- Lucas


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