Unfriended is a film with a new take on the horror movie genre, and turns out out to be a low budget hit. The events of the movie are all on line, and bring the consequences of cyber bullying to their ultimate extreme.
The movie revolves around the on-line chat of a group of high school kids. They are all very tech-savvy, so they communicate simultaneously via Skype, text messages, phone calls and various other links built into their computers.
They are having typical inane teenage chatter, until they notice that an internet troll has joined their group. No matter what technical steps they take, there seems to be no way to get rid of this unwanted visitor.
The troll also has a sick sense of humor. It claims to be Laura Barns; a girl from their high school who recently committed suicide after an disturbing video of her was posted on-line. This would-be “ghost” is back to find out exactly who posted the video of Laura Barnes (played by Heather Sossaman) and take revenge.
The teenagers don’t believe for a minute that they are speaking to a ghost. However, they do understand that they are being attacked by a very real internet bully who has far more technical knowledge than all of them put together.
This bully starts attacking them in the same way Laura was attacked. The bully starts releasing to the group intimate truths about each of them.
The main couple in the film are Blaire (played by Shelley Hennig) and Matt (played by Matthew Bohrer). They seem like a couple of real nice high school kids – until “Laura” starts releasing things about them which the couple never thought would be revealed.
This movie is great. It combines traditional horror movie scares and sudden plot twists, with the new and very real threat of being attacked on-line.
No one can watch this film without remembering that there have been a number of tragic cases of teenagers who have killed themselves after having been humiliated on-line. In the old days, a bully was someone who came up and attacked you physically in a schoolyard.As bad as that was, at least you knew exactly who your attacker was.
In our new, on-line world, you can be attacked by anyone anywhere, even if you are just sitting at home just trying to enjoy yourself on the computer. The worst part is that the attacker is a faceless anonymous force you cannot even strike back at. Sometimes the anonymous attacker is actually someone you had thought of as a Friend.
We give this movie Four Stars ****