Unfriended – 6/10

Is making a film that will be horribly dated in five years brave or just stupid?

Cyber Horror (as I have chosen to dub it) is the logical next step from found footage now that that particular horror sub-genre is beginning to become moribund.

Like recent Maisie Williams starring TV drama Cyberbully, Unfriended takes place almost entirely on a computer screen through Skype, Facebook and various other mediums of social media. Where Unfriended differs from Cyberbully is it is much more nasty and has a more supernatural angle rather than being ground in reality.

Unfriended is actually a genuinely brilliant and chilling concept that is unfortunately executed quite poorly. The problem with having all your characters in their teens is the performances are bound to be patchy and while the young cast copes well in the beginning, as the tension rises the acting becomes a bit embarrassing which totally takes you out of the story. As the film races to a fairly predictable conclusion, a few scenes that should be shocking end up of just being a bit daft as the clunky direction and hysterical acting fail to do the story justice.

If Unfriended sparks any kind of debate about online bullying it would be purely coincidental as there is no message here. This is a dumb teen horror movie that feels like social commentary due to the subject matter but don’t be expecting Black Mirror.

Unfriended is surely indicative of what the next major horror craze will be. It will take a better film than this to break it, but Unfriended is an important footnote in horror history and perhaps the moment that found footage died.

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