Oh, this movie is scary. Legitimately scary and made me want to delete Skype. I don't even know what it was about this movie that freaked me out so much. On the surface, it's your basic anti-cyberbullying horror movie with a gimmicky twist.
For a movie that deals so heavily with technology and social media, it was a good idea to limit the audience's view to just Blaire's computer screen. The way that she navigated it felt very natural. It felt like how a teenager would use her computer, jumping from the internet to private messages to music and so on and so forth. That being said, this also means that Unfriended might lose the less tech savvy audience members. My mom watched the first half hour or so with me, and was completely lost. She could't follow what was happening on all of the different apps.
It's hard to root for our characters. As the movie goes on, we learn that they're really awful people. Yes, they're dumb teenagers, but every single one of them has done something that was really damaging to another person. Including urging a girl to kill herself. It's some very heavy stuff.
But despite all of this, I felt for Blaire. She kept her cool and tried to defuse the situation while everyone else around her was freaking out. Her fear was palpable and very believable, as was her desperate attempts to keep her boyfriend alive. But at the same time, as much as I wanted Blair to survive, she's arguably the worst out of anyone. She's directly responsible for three deaths: Adam, Mitch, and Laura.
Obviously, the themes of technology and specifically cyberbullying are very prevalent throughout. Cyberbullying is what kick started the plot of the movie. It is what drove Laura to suicide. The problem with this kind of bullying is that it follows you home, the very place where you're supposed to be safe. It follows you into your bedroom. And even though everyone says to just log off, to not go online, that's essentially asking the impossible. We, and I'm speaking as a millennial here, are very addicted to our devices. It's very hard for us to unplug. And I'm saying this as someone who feels naked without her phone. During a commercial break, my dad made a comment along the lines of "Well, you know the solution to that? Turn your computer off." But the movie and the characters are very realistic in the fact that they physically can't.
On the website that explained how you shouldn't talk to the dead, it mentioned that the only way to save yourself is to confess, that the spirit has latched onto your guilt and sin. No one in this movie does that. They point fingers and blame other people and say that they were just fooling around. But they don't apologize. It's very easy to be cruel behind an anonymous username. It's much harder to own up to that ugliness in person.
Maybe I shouldn't look for social commentary in low budget horror movies. Maybe I should just enjoy the scares and leave it at that. But Unfriended presents a very chilling picture of the realities of cyberbullying. Yes, it does so with a supernatural twist, but that doesn't make the message any less important.
The Chatroulette segment was probably my favorite. Even if there was a surprising lack of nudity.
There are very few things more uncomfortable than watching the opening scene of this movie with my parents in the room. You know, the one where Blair gives Mitch blue balls? Yeah. 0/10 would not recommend.
There's a lot of really cool details going on, like Blair appearing in the porn ad towards the end.
And almost every murder weapon was mentioned or seen before the actual deed.
Unfriended was originally titled Cybernatural.
Production was only 16 days total for this movie. That's insane.
I love finding out movie trivia.
A very good movie with a surprisingly deep message.
8.2 out of 10
~An Honest Fangirl