Monday, April 20, 2015

Unfriended Movie Review – Reminds Me Why I Dislike Most Teens

Runtime: 82 minutes
Release Date: April 17, 2015
Rating: R
Director: Levan Gabriadze

Unfriended opens with a short, very short, description of what happened to a teenage girl named Laura. After getting drunk at a party, someone filmed the aftermath and posted it online, which led to her getting brutally teased and taunted by others online. Unable to cope with their bars, she shot herself in the head, which was also filmed and posted online.

Blaire was one of Laura's closest friends and is chatting with her boyfriend Mitch online on the one year anniversary of her friends suicide. Their talk turns dirty just as their friends start calling. Adam, Ken, and Jess interrupt their Skype call without their permission and notice an unknown person in their call. Despite hanging up and calling each other separately, the person, who has no avatar or photograph, remains on the line.

Assuming it's their friend Val, they call her and put her in the conversation too. Blaire keeps trying to talk with Mitch who doesn't respond. When he finally does, he tells her that someone hacked Laura's account, which leads to her getting a message from her dead friend too. Though she attempts to unfriend the account, the button goes dark and prevents her. She eventually memorializes the account to put an end to the messages.

After typical teenage chitchat, the unknown person in their conversation finally rears its head. Hacking into Jess's Facebook account, the person posts a number of pictures of a drunk Val, which leads to random people telling her to kill herself and taunting her in the same way people once did Laura. Blaming Jess, Val logs out of their conversation. As the night goes on, the person finally reveals her identity and makes it clear that she's out for revenge. Each of the teenagers must slowly reveal some of their own secrets that they hoped would remain hidden.

We sat down and watched an episode of Modern Family a few weeks ago that took place entirely on computer and phone screens. Though it was an interesting premise, it grew tired about halfway through. Take the same idea, multiply it by 2.5, and you'll have Unfriended.

When I found out our local drive in planned to show two horror movies back to back, I knew where I would be that Friday night. Sadly for me, this was the first movie they showed. Despite a supposed run time of 82 minutes, the movie was actually just over an hour long, somewhere around 70 minutes or so. The person next to us screamed that he wanted his money back, and we came across multiple other people who absolutely hated it.

I think the problem was with the way the film plays and not the plot itself. Imagine sitting in a room trapped with five teenagers chatting online. That should give you some idea of this movie. It's literally a group of teens on Skype, sending instant messages, playing music, and talking on their cell phones. I can see why it might appeal to teens, but I think I'm outside its target demographic.

The sad thing is that Unfriended actually had some good scenes. I've never seen someone suffocated to death with a curling iron down the throat, and there was a scene where a camera randomly shows up just behind one of the characters. Those scenes left me wishing the movie had more of those moments. I'm still not even sure if the second movie was that good or if it just looked good in comparison.

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