So, I recently caught the film that I’ve been waiting to watch since I first saw the trailer.
Unfriended is a horror film about 6 teenagers who are being taunted through Skype by the spirit of Laura Barns, a girl from their high school (whom they know), who committed suicide. Laura’s spirit seeks to uncover the truth with regards to her video being posted onto YouTube. Through the use of social media, Laura’s spirit makes quick work of her school mates and slowly kills them off one-by-one; making it look like a suicide.
The cool thing about this film is that I feel like it’s the first of its kind. Using just the desktop of a MacBook and Skype video calls, the film made viewers feel like they are the MacBook user – like they are a part of the film. It also showed a different sort of haunting that teenagers seem more attuned to these days – Social Media. I like the clever way they used social platforms like FaceBook, forums and YouTube to act as the storyteller on behalf of dialogues between actors.
With their lives on display through FaceBook, it is easy to see how quickly the groups’ unity dissolved. Each of them outing each other’s secret and eventually giving up their secrets before the other party does, just to save their own skin and their social status (they didn’t want socially damaging photos or videos of themselves get mysteriously posted onto their FaceBook page).
The last part of the film led me to think that the main girl had more than one thing on her mind as she comes to realize that her whole world fell apart in the span of one night. She not only just lost her boyfriend (because she gave him up), but she also had a permanent post on her FaceBook page – a video that showed her filming the infamous video that pushed Laura to suicide. She wasn’t just crying over the guilt and remorse she had over Laura’s death but also the overall reality of her lost of her friends as well as her social status (as negative comments begin pouring in under the video post.)
All in all, Unfriended is a refreshing take on a horror movie and it helps that the film wasn’t long-winded or had too much dialogue. It was quick and to the point, telling the story easily with that element of reality as we are all truly very involved with social media.
To be honest, it might even make you worry for a second when you look at the default user picture on Skype… Is it really your friend or someone else?