Unfriended – Movie Review
Unfriended – R
Release Date: Fri 17 Apr 2015
Unfriended takes place entirely on the computer screen of Blaire (Shelley Hennig) who is talking to several friends via Skype, Facebook and iChat. A stranger appears on their call and claims to be Laura (Heather Sossaman), a dead friend who committed suicide after an embarrassing video was posted online.
This is essentially a locked room mystery taking place on the Internet. One of Laura’s rules is that if you attempt to hang up on the Skype call, you die. It’s unclear how Laura is manipulating things, or if it’s a hacker playing a joke in extremely poor taste. We learn a lot about Blaire based on things she does on her computer on top of the things she says. Several times, we see her type a reply in a text chat only to delete and say something different. Watching her revise her strategies and phrasing is an interesting way into what she’s thinking without having her narrate to the audience or think out loud on the call.
As one might imagine, watching a static computer screen – no matter what is happening on it – is a premise that cannot last too long without becoming boring. At 82-minutes, Unfriended manages to get out just as things are starting to wear thin and the last few machinations of the plot bring things to a satisfying conclusion. More of a dramatized urban legend than a legitimately terrifying movie, Unfriended works on the terms it sets for itself and is smart not to over-explain to the audience or overstay it’s welcome.
If you’re a fan of the genre or thought the trailer looked intriguing, Unfriended is a decent, quick fix of a mystery/thriller.
Aaron and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car: