Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Week 19: Unfriended

Director: Levan Gabriadze
Writer:    Nelson Greaves
Venue:   IMC Galway
Snacks: Quavers
Mood:    Virtually hooked :)

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As I have professed before I am a bit of a scare seeker and love a good horror flick. When I heard the premise (and even the title) of ‘Unfriended’ I admit I thought it was going to be just another cliched teen slasher film. I can now put my hands up ( I promise they are up!!) and admit I was wrong, this film is quite simply (in my opinion) completely original, inventive and believable.
Unfriended centres on the suicide of Laura Burns who killed herself after a very embarrassing video of her went viral, now on the anniversary of her death six friends are receiving messages on Facebook from Laura. We are linked into a Skype group video call with the six friends where a mysterious anonymous caller appears to be listening in.
‘Laura’ threatens to expose them all online just as she herself was cruelly exposed.

The director Levan Gabriadze has achieved something quite unique as the entire film is played out in the virtual world with the cinema screen mimicking that of a laptop. Not once do we foray away from the screen into the real world and whilst this may sound tedious it is done with such aplomb that it is completely absorbing. I was not bored for a second and in fact the extra little nuances like buffering and slow downloads all added to the tension of the film.
I think this film really highlights the ‘cult’ of social media and the inability some people have to detach from it, there is also an element of dark humour and I found myself having a chuckle several times. This is such a totally new era of information  and you are left wondering what the future implications of such constant access will be.

The acting in this film is definitely worth a mention as it is so completely genuine, you really feel involved in what is happening on screen almost like you are the seventh person. The teenagers are exactly as you would expect them to be, sometimes annoying, sometimes loud but always believable.
Compared to ‘It Follows’ which I reviewed in week 10 it stands up very well, it is by no means AS sinister as ‘It Follows’ but I think ‘Unfriended’ doesn’t slot perfectly into the horror genre, it is more of a moral tale with a few scares along the way, the real bogeyman here is the limitless possibilities of the internet.

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