Unfriended Movie Review | by tiffanyyong.com
Recommended Audience: Fans of Heather Sossaman, Matthew Bohrer, Shelly Hennig, Moses Jacob Storm, Renee Olstead, Will Peltz, Jacob Wysocki, Courtney Halverson and thriller movie fans
Unfriended Movie Synopsis
A group of online chat room friends find themselves haunted by a mysterious, supernatural force using the account of their dead friend. Stalked by an unseen figure, someone seeks vengeance for a shaming video that led a vicious bully to kill herself a year earlier.
Unfriended Viewer Rating: 3.5/5 ***
Unfriended Movie Review:
I decided to catch this film after Fred Hawson, a fellow film critic friend from Philippines raved about this film. Got to admit, a film that is able to keep the audience focused on a computer screen for 80 minutes, Unfriended is the first of a kind and it is pretty impressive.
The film revolved around Facebook, iMessage, Skype, Spotify, Google and Gmail. Something we use everyday. MacBook Users will definitely be able to relate it more than Windows user. It was kind of unnerving for me to watch the film as Lily Blaire, the female lead had the same desktop layout as mine. Her menu bar was placed on the left instead of the default bottom, and looking into her world via her computer screen, I see her friends, relationships and activities. I see how she multi-task, say one thing on skype, but say something else in private to someone else. I was able to relate to her, they all felt real, because they are doing the things I do everyday.
I like how many emotions like fear and hesitance were expressed not via speech but through typing. Just like how we type and delete sentences online, pondering if we should write certain things, everything were close to our daily lives. And with the “glitches” and “lags” via the skype, I anticipated a lot of jump scares, and I was not wrong.
Although this new digital age horror film has no scary ghost faces, the scariness is deadly. Just last month, a Taiwanese online model Cindy (楊又穎) committed suicide on April 21 2015 due to Cyber bullying and harassment. It was horrifying to see what goes online is brought offline. The trauma, the depression, the shock were real. The more ironic thing? These people who thought it was “ok” or “fun” to join the crowd to cyber bully someone never thought it was their fault. They thought it was harmless. They didn’t think it was their comment or actions that triggered the suicide.
Horror aside, this is a thought-provoking film which will most probably make you think twice when you next type something online.
Do You Know?
Heather Sossaman had to shoot seven different ways for her character Laura to commit suicide. In an interview with We Got This Covered, she stated that one of the ways Laura was originally going to die was by hanging and she said filming that scene was scary. When it came to committing suicide by shooting herself, she saId that was one of the easiest ways and the film ended up going with that.
The film was originally titled Offline, then it was Cybernatural, then finally re-titled to “Unfriended”. In an earlier cut of the film, the characters’ dialogue could be heard during scenes of text messaging between Blaire and Mitch. In the final version, all background dialogue is muffled during the texting.
Shot in one long take, in real time, with the characters on actual computers (with Go-Pros attached). Production lasted 16 days total, including six 12 hour days of principal photography, three days of pick ups and then a few more re-shoots and other stuff. To keep the film suspenseful and believable, each take had script alterations and the cast were encouraged to improvise and react to the unexpected story changes.
The film is technically an independent film due to no studio being attached until 2014 when Universal had acquired distribution rights.
Around the end, on Blaire’s Facebook’s private messages page, at the left side, where the previous messages are listed, shows one message at the top of the list that doesn’t appear throughout the film. The message is by Nelson Greaves, with the last sent saying ‘JK IT WAS MEEE’. Nelson Greaves is the writer of the film.
Information from imdb.com