Cinematic Releases: Unfriended

Horror goes viral this weekend with Unfriended

"I just saw the Star Wars trailer too!!!
I can't stop crying!!!"
Social media and all its faults come to a bloody head in this week's release of Unfriended, a horror film that uses Skype, Facebook, Youtube, and the MAC OS to tell its timely tale of technology turned evil. Instead of going for the throat with another in a long line of found footage type movies, Unfriended takes a new approach that undoubtedly works and creates a possible new form of cinematic storytelling. Through one steady shot of a computer screen, the events of the film unfold over an effectively short run time of eighty minutes. 

Unfriended is not going to win any awards and its going to be savagely hammered by most critics for its extremely thin plot. However, the base idea by which the events take place is one that will hit home with many parents and teenagers alike. This story captures the real life effects of online bullying as it blends old school haunting horror into a technologically savvy film about friendship, teen drinking, and the inherent dangers of the internet's social landscape. Unfriended is relatively smart, takes chances, and creates a renewed form of modern horror that may continue to infect cinemas in the near future. 

When films like Halloween and Friday the 13th hit theaters years ago, their stories were culturally aware and aimed at teens of the post hippie era that were experimenting with drugs, drinking, and premarital sex. Unfriended is just as relevant to our times. This is a perfectly rendered horror tale that hits on key notes that are invariably designed to capture the experiences and societal misgivings of modern teens. Audiences are handed a slew of mistyped words, logging in and logging out of chat screens, cell phone calls, instant messaging, Skype sex, and the unforgivable deed that leads to this whole freaky mess. In an era that kids can't look away from the screen for more than two seconds, Unfriended gives them a reason to keep staring at it for even longer. 

"Oh look. A screenshot
of a screenshot of a
screenshot. How original."
Horror continues its upward trend with Unfriended. Centered on simplistic genre plot devices mixed with a keen sense of today's youth and their habitual use of devices, director Leo Gabriadze captures something unique with his first domestic release. This is horror at the core with high marks for kill ratio and creative death sequences. Unfriended is brazen enough to try something new in a genre that needs continual reinforcement. This is one of the better horror films of 2015 and will definitely be getting a repeat viewing from this guy. 

Pinterest Facebook Twitter Addthis