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PCU Movie Review Brought to YOU: Unfriended (2015)

Director: Levan Gabriadze

Writer: Nelson Greaves

Production Company: Blumhouse Productions/ Bezelevs Company

Distributor: Universal Pictures

Reviewer: Ray Willis

Ghost in the machine

Unfriended is another picture from the Blumhouse Production company that has been putting out a lot of films such as “The Boy Next Door,” “Lazarus,” “Whiplash,” “The Town That Dreaded Sundown,” and “Ouija”, Majority of the films have been on a pretty small budget with less than ten million dollars and has made back twice the amount or more at the end of their run in theaters. I can say their strategy works out for them since they’re getting a return but let’s get on with this review.

Unfriended is about a group of teens that meet over Skype with an unknown guest that does not want to leave their group call and are forced into a very sinister game of “Never have I ever” which reveals secrets about each other.  If you do not know “Never have I ever,” I will explain the variation they went which is holding up five fingers and putting one down whenever something mentioned has been done.

The movie starts out with a glimpse of a girl named Laura Barns, who commits suicide after a video of her at a party leaks out on social media. We are then introduced to some of her friends while they talk in a Skype group call with a mysterious person whom they are not able to make go away. The mysterious person begins to question them on who leaked the video of Laura Barns at the party which led to her suicide. After that, things get more interesting as one of the teens die then paranoia sets in to who this person is and the death game begins as secrets begin to tear at friends and relationships.

I love horror films but I went in with low expectations thinking is going to be a bad film but the film wasn’t bad however it does has some flaws. Some of the flaws were the characters which I didn’t like but the actors did a good job of being unlikable teens. The writing could have been better and should have showed us more Laura Barns which was scarcely done. I wanted to know why was she such a mean person or know what she was like but the film didn’t give me enough information to go on. The film relies on jump scares which I really did not like and the deaths were pretty light on the gore. The ending fell flat and the film did not have really have a lot of scares to go around. I literally just sat there and was like “so that was it…” when it was over.

The highlights of the film are the tension and paranoia that sets in when they are forced to reveal secrets about one another and some of those secrets were given away in the trailers but the other secrets caught me off guard. The director did have a good idea with just using the Skype group call to show each of the characters in their own screen but most taking place on the character Blaire’s screen. The film has some good atmosphere with lights being turned on and off and creepy sounds being produced from some of the characters screens. The film does show the negative effects of social media such as cyber-bullying and online shaming which has been happening a lot in recent years.

I really enjoyed the movie but it wasn’t a masterpiece by no means but it does have some interesting things that happen. The film does do something different with the found footage genre and keeps the perspective on a Skype call throughout the film. The characters are not that good or likeable but well acted in the situation they were placed in. The scare factor wasn’t there at all and relied too much on jump scares. The message of cyber-bullying and online shaming is good and is not overbearing. This was an okay horror movie with an interesting premise that could have been better. It’s one of those films that I would probably rent or catch on television but dead men tell no tales.

2.5  Skype calls out of 5

About Ray W (239 Articles)
Ray was born in the early 90's. He loves movies, comics, manga, anime, and 3D modeling. His favorite anime are: Ghost in the Shell, Psycho-Pass, Parasyte, Hellsing, Gundam Wing, G Gundam, Petshop of Horrors, Heroman, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Golgo 13, Saint Seiya, Ultimate Muscle, Baki the Grappler, Soul Eater, Wolf's Rain, Outlaw Star, S-Cry-D, Blue Gender, Ronin Warriors, Sailor Moon, Evangelion, Gatchaman, Speed Racer, and Dragon Ball Z. He is also an avid gamer with his all time favorite being Ratchet and Clank series,
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