Film Review: Unfriended

unfriended-poster1In Unfriended, six friends are terrorized via the internet on the one year anniversary of former friend Laura’s suicide due to cyber bullying after an embarrassing video is posted online. That may sound overly simplistic, but the film’s simple premise works and to explain any more of the story would give away plot points and twists.

While entirely told from the point of view of one character’s laptop screen, the central gimmick of Unfriended holds up surprisingly well. The story moves at a brisk enough pace that even the occasional break in dialogue for a text-based conversation doesn’t seem to slow its momentum down. Certainly stylistic, the “web design” and editing work are impressive, although the cinematography doesn’t stand out due to the limitations of the premise. The acting is acceptable and the writing competent, but the main drawback in this film is that from the very beginning we are lead to believe that all of the teens involved had somehow mistreated Laura and none of them generate any sympathy or support from the audience. It quickly becomes a situation in which we are just waiting around for them all to die.

The laptop gimmick is a genuinely interesting twist on the first person POV genre that has grown stale with found footage as of late, so if you are a fan of these films to start with check out Unfriended, otherwise you can probably wait until if pops up on a streaming service.

Unfriended (2014), Dir: Levan Gabriadze, Str: Heather Sossaman, Matthew Bohrer, Courtney Halverson

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