Unfriended sees a group of friends engage in important discussion over Skype while being stalked by the ghost of a young woman who was driven to suicide as a result of a nasty viral video. One by one, the teens are picked off at the hands of the ghostly entity.
We reviewed Unfriended during its theatrical release (twice actually). One of the critiques was very positive, suggesting that the film bears a strong anti-bullying message. The other, criticized it for featuring stupid, underdeveloped characters. Since we have already covered this picture in depth, I will keep this supplemental review short and to the point.I fall right in the middle of the two earlier write ups. I concede that there is an anti-bullying message within the film’s not-so-subtle subtext but I also think that the characters are paper thin, stupid, obnoxious, and I found myself rooting for their ultimate demise. I was really turned off by the douchebaggery exhibited by the entire cast. These are the people that give millennials a bad name. These are the kind of people I couldn’t stand to be in the same room with, let alone spend nearly ninety minutes of my life around. I realize that a certain amount of that is probably necessary to establish their lack of concern with consequences to help us understand why the’ve done the awful things they’ve done but I grew tired of all of them quite quickly.
As for the anti-bullying message, this was a creative way to go about it and I commend screenwriter Nelson Greaves for taking it on. I just wish he could have done so with more humanized characters that actually appeared to have a soul.
The idea of setting a film entirely on a computer screen is sort of like a new wave in ‘found footage’. I expect to see a lot more of them in the future. We’ve previously seen it in The Den and Open Windows and while it probably saves tons of money on production costs, it always leaves me feeling frustrated and trapped into that one POV. I think a little goes a long way when it comes to this sort of thing. A few scenes transpiring on a computer screen could work great but it gets tiresome very quickly.
As for the special effects, I was pleasantly surprised. The death scenes are all creative, well executed, and appeared to be accomplished practically. That was really the high point for me and the film’s biggest saving grace.
This is one that you are going to have to check out for yourself and make up your own mind on. As you can see, we’ve had three very different opinions from three critics that usually agree. Unfriended is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.
Director(s): Leo Gabriadze
Writer(s): Nelson Greaves
Stars: Heather Sossaman, Matthew Bohrer, Courtney Halverson
Studio/ Production Co: Blumhouse, Universal
Budget: $1,000,000 (estimated)
Length: 83 Minutes