*** out of ****
Just when it seems the sub-genre of found footage films has finally run its course, a fresh and inventive take on it appears, like the moviesChronicle, Afflicted and now Unfriended. Unfriended is an old-fashioned revenge tale updated to the social media age, and it is a fairly creepy horror film that's somewhat thought provoking as well.
The entire film takes place in real time in an online chat room, so yes, through the entire movie we are looking at faces in boxes on a computer screen. If that turns you off, then you may consider skipping this one, but I feel the gimmick works.
Guilt-ridden teen Blair (Shelley Hennig) is chatting online with her boyfriend, Mitch (Moses Jacob Storm) about the one-year anniversary of high school friend Laura's (Heather Sossaman) death. Laura had taken her own life after constant cyber bullying. Soon, Blair and Mitch are joined in the chat room by four of their friends...as well as a faceless and mysterious guest. Is it Laura's ghost coming back for revenge? Needless to say, the teens start dropping like flies and a few of the grisly deaths are darkly funny.
I'm sure director Leo Gabriadze and writer Nelson Greaves set out to create just a fun little exploitation movie – and they have – but because of the sad reality of cyber bullying and how technology is, in certain ways, distancing us from one another, there is social commentary sprouting up here. But, hey, if you are just looking for scares, Unfriended delivers.