Unfriended: a horror movie that became a horror in itself

Many of us today, myself included, don’t think about the things we post on the Internet. We post bad photos of our friends on their birthdays and embarrassing statuses that we regret posting in later years, among other things.

However, watching Levan Gabriadze’s new film “Unfriended” would make you think twice before ever posting anything online again.

The five friends and the anonymous user
The five friends and the anonymous user

The movie centers around the protagonist, Blaire Lily, and her group of friends who are dealing with a suicide of a friend that happened a year earlier. Their friend Laura killed herself because of a video shared online that showed her lying behind a trailer after she became intoxicated. One year after that day, the horror begins as an anonymous user lurks in on their Skype call and claims she is Laura.

Throughout the film, it becomes evident that each person in that group has their own little secrets, and “Laura” plans on exposing them in the worst way possible.

When I was walking to the movie cinema, I had the idea that “Unfriended” would be just another movie about girls losing friendships and a scarier version of “Mean Girls.” Little did I know that it would be so much more than that.

Unlike most Hollywood movies, the majority of this movie is in the form of a  screen recording, and it has a very unique ending compared to other “horror” movie comparisons.

Gabriadze did a fantastic job building suspense, causing the audience to shut their eyes during some very intense scenes. In addition, the movie did a good job of addressing an issue that is prevalent in today’s society: ignorance among teenagers when it comes to social media.

Though it was a good idea, it was poorly executed. The directorial decision to have the same “scene” for the entire movie was a poor one. The movie was an hour and a half of one screen recording and an hour and a half of torture for the audience.

While the mounting tension had the majority of the people in the movie cinema gripping the edge of their seats, it also resulted in the frustration of many of these people, mainly because Blaire proved herself to be a very indecisive person when it came to sending instant messages to her boyfriend, Mitch.

The movie centers around the computer screen of Blaire Lily, the girl pictured above.
The movie centers around the computer screen of Blaire Lily, the girl pictured above.

She was so indecisive that a good portion of the film was footage of her typing a message, then deleting the whole thing, then pondering what to write next.

Rotten Tomatoes gave it the following review: “Unfriended subverts found-footage horror clichés to deliver a surprisingly scary entry in the teen slasher genre with a technological twist.”

Though I admit this movie does have its own set of unique qualities, all in all, I don’t see it winning any Oscars in the near future.

I believe this movie should be watched – despite its many directorial mistakes – to educate today’s youth on the impact that social media has on our lives. The over-the-top supernatural consequences can at least remind us of the natural consequences we all face that can be equally horrifying.

Author: Stephanie Palanca

Stephanie Palanca is a senior and a second year reporter for The Eye. She has lived in Singapore since fourth grade, though she is originally from Manila, Philippines. When she is not doing anything related to school, she likes to try eggs benedicts from different brunch places around Singapore, photograph the world around her, binge watch Grey’s Anatomy, and play tennis. She can be contacted at palanca30087@sas.edu.sg.

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