Unfriended is only the second horror film that I have braved the cinema to see this year. The first was the sequel to The Woman In Black, which was a fairly standard jump scare effort. I did want to see It Follows however the reports from it made me think I would wait for the DVD rather than brave it on the big screen. Unfriended looked more trashy than anything else, which is just what I like in my horrors, I didn’t think it would be particularly scary.
Unfriended is actually very scary. Almost the entire film takes place with the view of a laptop screen. The fact that the film managed to be engaging for its entirety using this method was impressive. Unfriended is most definitely a horror for this generation using all of our favourite social networking sites; Skype, Facebook, Instagram etc. The tension created in the film was so great that even notification sounds could fill you with dread. My favourite aspect of the film was the distortion during the skype scenes, whilst this is usually just annoying in real life here it was used as a tool to obtain some really unsettling scenes. The distortion made the characters obscured and your mind begins to play tricks on you as to what you are seeing, this element was exploited very well. The sheer amount of nervous laughter that was going on in the screening I saw it in told me just how creeped out that everyone was.
Although I was a fan of the concept of the film there a few flaws that came out of it. At times something would be shown on a screen and it would be hard to know who was reading/watching it, whether or not it was on all of the screens or just a few – a bit more clarity in this would have been useful. There was also a lot going on when all the characters were on screen and there was maybe text appearing too – this meant that it was hard to take everything in at times. However, they were minor flaws. The cast performed well and were believable in their respective roles. The tension is better than the horror itself and I know that I could watch this film a second time and I wouldn’t be as scared however it is more fun than a lot of other horror films.
Unfriended is probably the most relevant horror I have seen before, its concept lends itself very well to today’s society and culture and is executed very cleverly. The tension that builds throughout is very effective however the horror itself isn’t anything too scary. You’ll think twice after coming home about getting online! For maximum thrills watch this movie in the dark on your laptop with headphones in, you will feel like a part of the movie – good luck!
Rating – 8/10