After experiencing what they think are a series of "break-ins", a family sets up security cameras around their home, only to realize that the events unfolding before them are more sinister than they seem.
While video chatting one night, six high school friends receive a Skype message from a classmate who killed herself exactly one year ago. At first they think it's a prank, but when the girl starts revealing the friends' darkest secrets, they realize they are dealing with something out of this world, something that wants them dead.Written by
The video that caused Laura Barns to commit suicide shouldn't even be on YouTube in the first place as one of the policies on YouTube is for bullying. See more »
[Laura fires upon herself on the high school basketball courts, a female student then screams as the teacher and crowd rush towards Laura's body and Blaire pauses the liveleak video]
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At the start, the Universal logo starts breaking up like a bad connection. See more »
In the FX broadcast, the voice acting is rerecorded to censor obscenities. Scenes were also re-edited (ie: Laura Barns party video) to censor inappropriate scenes. See more »
Written and Performed by Zoe Chatfield, Athena Demaille-Von Schmidt and Emily Gregonis
Performed by The Bandshes (uncredited)
Courtesy of The Bandshes
By Arrangement with Signature Tracks See more »
Laura Barns has some very embarrassing party videos of her posted to YouTube by certain friends (?), commits suicide, and returns to hack into her little circle's Skype/Facebook/Youtube/Google Mail/iChat accounts and play them off in deadly games against one another.
UNFRIENDED is a scarily fun film, more of the "jump scene" variety than the truly haunting, layered type, intended, it seems, mainly for the adolescent and adolescent-at-heart. I saw it in the theater and can testify that it elicited several screams of terror and loud "Eews!" of surprised disgust, mainly from the high school and college-aged kids in the audience. When it comes out on DVD and (appropriately) Instant Video, it will be a good one to watch late at night in a darkened house. Something will be lost by not seeing it on the big screen, but the Blu-ray version will definitely have its perks. There is some really gross and disturbing stuff here along with some humor, but UNFRIENDED does a nice job of separating the modes and not trying to make the scary stuff funny and vice versa.
Highs: All of UNFRIENDED takes place in the above-mentioned online forums between its teenaged characters, with virtually no view of the outside world. There's probably already a name for this technique ("cybernatural"?), but I have no idea what it is. Though confining, the whole effect is interesting; UNFRIENDED will most likely help spawn a whole new subgenre, just as the "Blair Witch" films assisted in the birth of "found footage." Some of its imitations will no doubt be quite awful; however, with a little more imagination and budget, others should well surpass UNFRIENDED. While it doesn't get preachy in this regard, there is also some nice satire on the foibles and pitfalls of social media.
Lows: It just seems that the makers of this film could have been a little more inventive in places. Though there are some good small surprises, the whole plot follows a rather predictable pattern. There are numerous blank spots and contradictions, which is almost to be expected in a film of this sort; nevertheless, a more cohesive storyline would have been easily possible with a little more work and thought. Character development is tough in a short film using this online technique, but still, the high school cast seems soooo stereotypically California teen and comes across as a bit vapid. They're all toh-tally obsessed with who slept with whom, who started that rumor about who, who scored some good weed, etc, and that, like, keeps them from being as convincing as they might be. A little more back-story and character introduction, especially in showing what led up to Laura's suicide, would have helped, but I can see why the directors and writers didn't want to get into that. All that being said, UNFRIENDED still succeeds at believably showing adolescent rivalries and love-hate relationships even when its characters are utterly flat stereotypes.
UNFRIENDED is a film that depends entirely upon the individual. Many are bound to love it just as many are bound to be quite disappointed. It's mostly one for funzies and can't be taken too seriously, a very good very bad film. If you just enjoy a nice horror ride with something of a new twist, UNFRIENDED should be worth watching. If you enjoy dissecting films for quality of plot, acting, and so forth, there will be much you will love to hate. Taking this film for what it is, lesser qualities aside and crabby old man of nearly 50 though I am, I basically enjoyed it.
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