Unfriended – Review

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Starring: Heather Sossaman, Matthew Bohrer, Courtney Halverson, Shelley Hennig, Moses Storm, Will Peltz, Renee Olstead, Jacob Wysocki
Written for the screen by: Nelson Greaves
Directed by: Levan Gabriadze
IMDB Rating: 5.8
Metacritic Rating: 59
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 61%

Rated R for violent content, pervasive language, some sexuality, and drug and alcohol use – all involving teens.

This will be a different territory than I am used to. When I started writing in hoping to be a film critic, I felt I only had two limitations: I can’t watch gory on the side of disturbing films and I can’t watch movies with intense scenes of rape (this after watching Salo for the only time I attempted to do). Yet, with age, resolve and a healthy batch of cynicism and desensitizing of violence from all the years of watching film, TV and playing video games, there was a feeling I had that I should get back on the horse and try to watch some horror films again.

Oh yeah, and the only reason why I quit on horror: almost all of them are bad. Is Unfriended one that happens to be good?

A group of friends find that their Skype conference call is being taken over by an unknown entity on the anniversary of their friend’s Laura (Sossamon) suicide. And then, freaky scary stuff happens while the call is going on.

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From about 5 minutes into the movie, one thing kept crawling in my head as I watched this film: “Are they really trying to make identity theft an instrument of death into a horror plot?”

Let’s just dive into this head first. The story of the film is, essentially, about someone…or something (oooohhh), who has hacked accounts of a dead girl from a year previous. The villain, the nature of which I won’t spoil, essentially takes over the Skype account of the dead girl and throughout the movie comes up with reasons one by one to kill each of the teens on the Skype call.

Right there, you are basically making that, in essence, can be handled by blocking a person or contacting Skype to ban them.

But then, they try to “unfriend” this person, only to find that they can’t.

So, basically, it’s a member of Anonymous who’s highly skilled.

And you can do this with almost every aspect of the film. If it takes someone with the mentality of a 5th grader to show how broken the concept of the movie is before it gets to “the good stuff,” you can consider the movie a mess right from the start.

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So, another question gets asked around this time: Is it so bad it’s good? Is it “The Room,” “Showgirls,” or “Battlefield Earth”? That answer would be no. None of the characters have quirks except from the archetypical traits given, the script itself is bland and it follows a pretty set formula.

So then, another question gets asked: Is there anything that differentiates itself from other movies? Yes, there is. This is the first movie that I can recall that is set entirely on a computer screen.

The problem with this? It is a movie…whose entire plot…is set on a computer screen. So, someone thought the brilliance of this movie will shine it’s best if we just see it on the same types of screens that people look at to surf the internet or to work?

Let me tell you something: For about a year, I used my TV as a computer screen and you know what? It sucked. Guess exactly how this film felt watching a computer screen for an hour and a half?

The film, that tries at it’s minimum to be different than other movies, chooses all the wrong options to make a creative spin on a movie.

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So, what the hell is this movie really? Other than a bad one, it’s a film that from moment one had serious flaws that it’s style or it’s script could help itself out from. When any type of film, game, TV show, etc.’s first frame automatically makes you feel “Umm, this wasn’t a smart move”, it’s fighting an uphill battle to become even the slightest bit good.

And guess what, Unfriended never moved up. Once.

0/5 – A Film That Is Flawed Even Before The Movie Starts

The Wiz Says #40

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