Anyone who has been unfriended on any social network (yours’ truly is one) such as Facebook, knows it’s not a very pleasant feeling. Sometimes you really don’t know if the deed was deliberate, or maybe a glitch in the system. In some cases you already know the reason why, others you can only speculate. It can leave a person with a sense of elation at getting rid of someone, guilt for something you did, or just plain confusion if you try to “re” friend them.
If you take anything away from the movie “Unfriended”, it will be the obvious fact so many of our Hollywood celebrities have realized. Watch what you post on the web. There could be embarrassing consequences. Another fact to consider is, watch what you post about others on the web. That may have worse consequences. Unlike the “old” days before the internet, secrets are not so secret anymore.
Superbly edited to resemble one single take, Unfriended opens, and stays entirely on a live chat room. Those who spend time on these things will instantly recognize the multiple windows and cursor click ons from the start as a very disturbing video of a bully named Laura Barnes taking herself out with what looks like a revolver, is displayed. The video is suddenly aborted by our main players popping up online almost collectively. Mitch and his girlfriend Blaire discuss some totally private plans. In the middle of this awkward moment, three more join the party. Mitch’s best friend Adam, Blair’s friend Jess, and their facetious friend Ken. There’s also one other unidentified person on this Skpe connection, after which their friend Val joins the party.
Naturally, it’s the unidentified, and uninvited “buddy” they all need to worry about. Hacking Laura Barnes’ Facebook account, the person (referred to as a glitch by Val), types threatening messages and proceeds to post damaging photos and videos revealing many, if not all our genial friends’ most guarded secrets. But the real fun begins when this same whoever, demands to know who posted that suicide video.
Even those who may not be computer literate, will appreciate Russian di-rector Levan Gabriadze’s genuine brand of supense throughout. You never know what may happen after each click or message. Could make you squirm in your seat. Especially when our mysterious friend threatens to kill our chat roomers one by one if they sign off.
No big name stars. But that has nothing to do with talent and potential. All of our chat roomers, including Heather Sossaman, Matt Bohrer, and Coutney Halverson, have done their bid for tv shows and other films, and inhabit their characters 3 dimensionally. They’re all excellent, playing typi-cal American teenagers exhibiting true fear and high frightening anxiety at the thought of being taken out by some cybernatural entity.
Whether or not Unfriended may persuade some teens, or even adults, to avoid live online chat rooms, naturally depends on their reactions to the pic. It may not keep them off permanently, but for some, it may be a long time before they sign in to talk to their buddies.