A group Skype chat among teen Skype users becomes haunted by an angry spirit in this engaging slasher-revenge thriller. Utilizing laptop programs’ oddities for suspenseful effect, blackouts and frozen webcam images add to the suspenseful effect.
Levan Gabriadze masterfully taps into an uncomfortable feeling rarely found in horror films – an awkward, sinking sensation experienced when sharing embarrassing photos online can evoke this disquiet.
Unfriended is a modern take on old-school horror movie that follows five friends as they are haunted over Skype by a ghost from one of their classmates who committed suicide after seeing themselves humiliated online video footage posted. Starring Shelley Hennig, Moses Jacob Storm, Renee Olstead, Will Peltz, Jacob Wysocki and Courtney Halverson; it tells the tale of five high school students on Skype chat who find themselves targeted online by ghost of former bully who committed suicide after seeing himself humiliated online video footage posted online; movie has been hugely successful, with many viewers being confused because its fictional basis does not based on any real event in real life – though many feel free to add their own interpretation!
Unfriended’s plot is actually an amalgamation of many older horror films, and its success can be credited to Blumhouse’s distribution stamp as well as its chilling premise that could scare any teenager. Unfriended follows a group of classmates on a Skype group call who begin being haunted by the ghost of their murdered classmate who appears out of nowhere with an agenda – she wants revenge against all involved for what caused her death, including them all being involved somehow in it all.
Unfriended stands out among other horror movies with similar gimmicks as it uses its limitations to its advantage. Levan Gabriadze and Nelson Greeves make great use of laptop computers’ unique quirks as tools of horror, producing jump scares with frozen webcam images and strategic blackouts for maximum scare effect – creating jump scares through more realistic means than the typical horror fare’s overly-explanatory dialogue.
At first, this film opens with Blaire (Teen Wolf star Hennig) convening an online group Skype session with Mitch, Adam, Jess, Ken and Val – she soon finds out there’s another participant joining who calls themselves Laura Barnes. But soon enough things turn sinister; Laura appears as an unseen ghost taunting the group on their Facebook pages while sending them threatening messages via Skype; eventually all members are killed off one by one in increasingly shocking fashions.
“Unfriended’s” main gimmick – that all the action takes place within one character’s computer screen – may not be novel, but its execution here has been masterful. Writer Nelson Greaves and director Levan Gabriadze made use of all available technology in creating an unnerving but very real narrative.
Matias logs in to his laptop purchased off Craigslist and joins a Skype call with some friends for game night, only to discover that its previous owner, billie227, left behind an anonymous profile that sent them disturbing photographs and threatened violence against them.
As we watch, we see our characters search for ways to stay safe and stay connected, attempting to use techniques such as an ad blocker. While some attempts may be comical (such as when one tries to use an ad blocker), others can be very disturbing; and violence doesn’t offer cheap thrills but is very real and effective.
Unfriended and its predecessor Wanted both excel at creating an atmosphere of high-suspense suspense that’s surprising given that both films take place within a video call format. Both movies do it deftly.
Unfriended stands out as both an effective sequel and its superior predecessor in several respects. While its plot may be straightforward – a high school clique becomes haunted by their deceased classmate’s ghost via Skype call – its execution sets it apart. Even with its low budget, everything happens on one screen for maximum impact.
Cast is also highly convincing; especially the actresses playing Jess and Val as college students are very convincing as themselves. My only gripe with the film was its overly familiar plotline – but that may just be part of making films about social media threats!
On the anniversary of a classmate’s suicide, a group of high school friends are haunted online by what appears to be her ghost: billie227. Billie227 draws them into private chat and forces them into playing “Never Have I Ever.” As teenagers struggle with how best to respond and can’t get rid of him/her off their computer screen, billie227 causes chaos on Skype and refuses to leave their computers.
The film’s central gimmick – taking place almost entirely within one computer screen – is clever and impressively executed by director Levan Gabriadze, with real laptop programs and websites lending real realism while its keys clacking together and ticking timers providing additional sense of urgency.
Gabriadze does an admirable job with his limited budget and camera restrictions, using the gimmick effectively, creating an exciting film experience and leaving us wondering how further their concept might develop given that there’s already talk of a sequel being developed.
There are numerous interesting characters in the film, such as Ken (a fat computer geek); Jess, an aggressive brunette who sleeps with everyone in her clique; Adam, an attractive douchebag who dates anyone who crosses his path; and Val (who has been ignored by her peers). Furthermore, Laura’s mother – a police officer herself – calls them to inform them that Laura committed suicide.
Unfriended is an enjoyable and chilling supernatural thriller that proves it is possible to create an effective horror film without blood and gore. While its plot may recall other horror films, its screenplay makes up for its borrowings with tight storytelling and visually stunning computer graphics that add depth and authenticity. Plus, Unfriended features outstanding cast performances and high production values; some violence may appear graphic but it only serves to create tension effectively while some scenes may upset young children or teens.
One of the defining films from J-horror genre, this 2014 film stars Shelley Hennig and Moses Storm as six high school friends who use Skype until it is interrupted by a ghost. Director Levan Gabriadze takes advantage of its format by using pixels, smudges, split screens and shifting perspectives to create an unnerving sense of dread and tension while using sound (clicking keyboards and down ticking timers) to heighten suspense further.
The movie follows a group of teenaged friends as they encounter the ghost of a girl who committed suicide after being bullied, who appears as an evil spirit who targets them by using her Facebook account to post humiliating photos, before hacking their computers to gain control over webcams and destroy videos – not only is this horror flick but it is also an eye-opener about cyberbullying and its dangers.
As the movie progresses, five friends begin receiving messages from an anonymous online presence known as “billie227.” At first these messages seem harmless enough, but soon turn into harassment and threats before an unknown ghost begins targeting each friend individually with secrets from their lives that reveal themselves via Never Have I Ever. Before long they find themselves embroiled in an exciting game in which each must reveal his/her deepest secrets or face death.
This movie’s ending was both suspenseful and surprising, featuring fantastic character development with well-written and performed roles that feel relatable, along with sharp dialogue that makes this an engaging viewing experience. There’s also enough blood and gore in it that’s worth your time watching despite sometimes feeling slow paced – a must for any horror fan!