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Unfriended is a 2014/2015 American-Russian video-meeting footage supernatural horror film directed and produced by Levan Gabriadze and written by Nelson Greaves. The film is presented as a computer screen film, being told almost entirely through a screencast of a MacBook. The film premiered at the Fantasia Festival on July 20, 2014, before receiving a theatrical release through Universal Pictures in the United States on April 17, 2015.
A stand-alone sequel film, Unfriended: Dark Web, was released in 2018.
One night, while teenagers Blaire, Mitch, Jess, Adam Ken, and Val take part in an online group chat session, they are suddenly joined by a user known only as "Billie227." Thinking it's just a technical glitch, the friends carry on their conversation... until Blaire begins receiving messages from someone claiming to be Laura Barns, a classmate who killed herself exactly one year prior. As Blaire tries to expose Billie's identity, her friends are forced to confront their darkest secrets and lies.
Why We Should Unfriend This
- The movie goes to show that many Hollywood writers know nothing about how children think or work.
- It is a by-the-numbers slasher script: the antagonist is a wronged person returning from the grave to enact revenge, and the protagonists are a group of people with dark secrets. The only change it makes is to add "on the Internet!" to everything.
- Poor acting from the cast, especially Shelley Hennig.
- Relies on clichés, such as jump scares.
- Of the two main deaths, the hand-in-a-blender wouldn't actually be fatal (loss of a hand is eminently survivable and the blender would jam when it hit bone anyway, although Ken does slit his throat) and the curling iron only would be if Jess choked to death on it.
- The main characters are extremely unlikeable and unsympathetic, as they were partially involved in the video that prompted Laura's suicide, and they range from jerks to very despicable. They have also committed some sort of betrayal to each other (e.g, cheating, spreading rumours, etc.).
- Laura is also unlikable, she made a video telling everyone in the world to go f*ck themselves, even though it was only the protagonist's faults.
- Blaire is a moron, constantly turning to Mitch every time she gets scared because she is too much of a wet blanket to do anything herself. She was also the one who recorded the video that leads to Laura killing herself. If she only confessed to what she did, then no one would have died. She also throws her friends under the bus just to save her own skin, but she still dies anyway.
- Adam is very unlikable, he smugly and spitefully made Blaire tell Mitch that she cheated on him twice with him. He also raped a girl, got her pregnant and forced her to get an abortion.
- If you remove the scenes where Ken lodges his hand into a blender and Jess has a hair-curling iron shoved down her throat, the movie isn't really even a horror film.
- Every character in the film cannot go without a single sentence without a curse word, which shows they are trying to make themselves look cool.
- They also keep on typing "your" or "you're" as "ur" over and over again until it gets on your nerves (or should we say "ur nerves"? *ba dum tss*).
- It has a pretty interesting, but also a stupid concept. The entire film is focused on Blaire's laptop screen.
- There are a couple of errors with the MacBook that Blaire uses, one of which showing that Blaire's hard drive is only 16 GB, which is barely enough for the macOS operating system.
- Plot holes:
- The video that caused Laura Barns to commit suicide shouldn't even be on YouTube in the first place, as YouTube has a policy against bullying.
- The paper that kills people is made on MSPaint, while everyone in the movie uses a mac, and MSPaint isn't supposed to be on Mac, it's supposed to be on Windows.
- The ending is just dumb, disappointing and awful. It just involves everyone that got killed than Blaire's Facebook friends leave angry and disgusted messages before Laura's vengeful spirit slams Blaire's laptop shut and violently lunges at her which should be sequel baiting.
- It is really boring most of the time, and it feels like it drags on for a while.
- False Advertising: At the very first 24 seconds of the trailer, we can see heartwarming moments like weddings, having a new baby, skydiving, etc... making everyone thought this is a coming-of-age drama film talks about memories and loved ones, but it didn't happened at the film and, stated from above, focuses on Blaire's laptop chatting her friends gets killed by her "best friend".
- The death scenes actually look realistic in gore terms, if not in terms of actual possibility.
- The Universal opening variant logo looks cool.
- Some unintentionally funny scenes, despite being a horror film.
- The film uses unsent and deleted messages to show what is going on inside the character's head rather than them just telling the viewers outright.
- As said above, while stupid, the concept of a movie that takes place on the protagonist's computer does sound interesting.
- Blaire, and her close friends, got their comeuppance after what she did to Laura, while Blaire apologized.
Despite Unfriended receiving mixed-to-positive reviews from critics, it was shown to be a disappointment from the audiences. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 62% based on 185 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Unfriended subverts found-footage horror clichés to deliver a surprisingly scary entry in the teen slasher genre with a technological twist.". On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100 based on 30 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". In CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend, cinema audiences gave Unfriended an average grade of "C", on an A+ to F scale.
- The film's official website had an interactive video, and you could chat to Laura Barns (supposedly billie227). It was made to promote the film before and during its cinema release: however, it is now gone.
- In the film's first trailer, an unknown character is shown walking into the street before getting hit by a car, this was cut in the final version.