Jump to: Spoilers (16)
For the German, Spanish, French, Russian, Italian and Portuguese versions of the movie, every TV/phone/computer screen was recreated in its respective language, as well as every typing sequence, keystroke by keystroke.
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The film took just 13 days to shoot. However, it took two years to make due to the prep, editing and animating.
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While the film features computer operating systems, programs and (mostly) websites, they were re-created from scratch and animated on computers.
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In the film's final scene, a Spotify window contains a track by Torin Borrowdale, the film's composer.
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Since they had a seven-week head start on shooting, director Aneesh Chaganty and producer Sev Ohanian hired the editors and together they made a rough version of the film, with Chagnaty playing all of the characters, that lasted for an hour and 40 minutes. They showed this version of the film to the crew before shooting began, in order to give everyone a feel for what they were making.
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Since this movie takes place on a mock computer screen just like a previous film, Unfriended (2014), there is a small nod to that movie during the very first Facebook scene. The name "Laura Barns," a character from Unfriended, appears on the top right screen as a trending topic. It was shown very briefly.
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Throughout the movie various news articles hint that an alien invasion is happening at the same time.
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In the movie, David Kim (John Cho) works at a company called AppEnsure, Inc. AppEnsure is a real company, one that was co-founded by the director Aneesh Chaganty's father, Sri Chaganty, who is the CTO there. Aneesh's mother, Subha Chaganty, also works there as the Director of offshore operations.
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When David searches for info on Detective Vick one of the links mentions her previous cases are the Old Man Marley murders and Harry-Marv robberies, both reference the movie Home Alone (1990)
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In the final scene, a window with recent friend activity is shown. The top friend activity is from Timur Bekmambetov, the producer of the film.
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During one of the earlier Facebook scenes, trending topics can be seen at the top right corner of the screen. One of the topics is simply "The Dress". This is a reference to a photo of a dress that became a viral internet sensation in February 2015 when viewers disagreed over whether the dress was coloured black and blue, or white and gold.
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This was the feature film debut of Michelle La (Margot Kim).
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This was the feature film directorial debut of Aneesh Chaganty.
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In real life, there is no Barbosa Lake or Barbosa Ravine near Gilroy, CA. The 152 hwy also has another direction than shown on Google Maps in the movie.
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Margot's piano teacher, Vartohi Shahinian, is named after co-writer/producer Sev Ohanian's mother, using her maiden name. The photograph shown is a real photo of his mother.
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One of the contacts listed is Maggie Cho, a hat tip to the Korean-American entertainment pioneer Margaret Cho.
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Early in the film, David chastises his brother, Peter, when he notices a jar of weed on Peter's counter. David is played by John Cho who is most famous for starring in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004) (and its subsequent sequels) in which he plays Harold Lee, a character who is a heavy marijuana smoker.
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One of Margot's contacts is named John Watson. John Watson is also the name of the working partner of the fictional character Sherlock Holmes.
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At about 16 minutes, David picks up his iMessage thread with Margot in what appears to be a Linux OS (Ubuntu) in an app labeled "Cross Messenger." Unless this is little known open source app or a proprietary one from AppEnsure, Inc., this is a fictional application.
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Early in the film, a news item about a man who survived for nine days in the wilderness is shown, alluding to the film's conclusion.
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During the sequence in which David goes through Pam's old address book, the second name he looks up is Robert, who is later revealed to be his daughter's stalker. Among Pam's notes about the boy include his divorced mother being a detective in the SVPD and noting that he had a huge crush on Margot -- two major clues about those responsible for Margot's disappearance.
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There is another message in David's email after his fight with Derek Ellis at the theater. It's from Sev Ohanian (one of the movie's writers and producer) titled "My Theory." The preview for the email says, "it's obvious what happened: your daughter was catfished by this Fish_N_Chips character - who is no doubt the son of" before being cutoff. This is, of course, exactly what happened as Robert has been posing as Fish_N_Chips/Hannah and is the son of Detective Rosemary Vick.
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The word "catfish" can be seen during a Twitter search at one point in the film and also as the name of the mascot of the school Margot attends. This is a hint to the user "@fish_n_chips" being a catfish, which is a slang term for someone on the Internet who uses a fake photo to pretend to be someone else.
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Robert, under his alias Fish_n_Chips, claims his favorite Pokemon is Kecleon. Kecleon is a Pokemon that resembles a chameleon and can camouflage itself. This alludes to the fact that Robert was attempting to conceal his identity to Margot.
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Early in the film, there is a news article with the name of M. Night Shyamalan, a hint that the film contains a twist in the third act.
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When David asks Vick what her reaction was when she found out her son was in fact conning neighbors out of money for a scam fundraiser, Vick admits she covered for him because she is his mother, which alludes to the twist ending.
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When David calls Detective Vick after finding Margot's key chain at Barbosa Lake, Vick asks, "Are you at the lake?" before David mentions anything about a lake, one of the early clues that Vick was behind Margot's disappearance.
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When David and Margot take the High School Day 1 picture, the Evercreek High School board reads "Home of the Catfish". That is another nod to the film's third-act plot twist, which involves Margot being cat-fished.
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Margot's last phone call could have been used in tracing her last location, because when her father calls, her phone rings but is not answered. This was never attempted by the detective because she wanted to divert the case.
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When David is looking through his email, after getting into a fight with Derek Ellis at the movie theater, his Gmail inbox is flooded with accusations against him. One of the emails is from Derek's mother Evelyn, which reads "YOU HURT MY SON - HOW DARE YOU ATTACK AN INNOCENT CHILD?! I can't imagine what life must be like for you, but to tak..." Later on, when Margot is declared dead after Cartoff's confession, David's email is filled with messages of sympathy, including Evelyn. Her message this time reads "Your poor daughter - All things aside, Mr. Kim: You are in my prayers during t..."
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When David first speaks to Detective Vick, he looks up her Facebook profile. Vick's Profile picture is of her and her son, Robert. Soon after, David first accesses Margot's Facebook page, and a profile named Robert Abolt is shown. That profile photo is also Detective Vick's son, showing he was Facebook friends with Margot. The same profile photo of Robert is shown towards the end of the film when Robert calls Detective Vick.
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When David discovers his brother's T-shirt in Margot's car and is searching for his number through his contacts, one of the contacts that can be seen is Aneesh Chaganty, the director of the film.
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When a suspect confessed to killing Kim's daughter the police indicate the case has been solved by his confession. However, a missing person or homicide case is never "closed" if no body is found and only then and once positively identified, can the case be closed.
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At one point, Vick mentions to David that her son conned $25 from a woman. This alludes to the fact that Margot gave Vick's son $2,500 before her disappearance.
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