Review: Unfriended (2015)

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A horror film that uncovers the true fears of millennials, Unfriended breathes ample new life into the tired found footage device to deliver a film that’s both engaging and scary. An online chat room between five friends – Blaire (Shelley Henning), Mitch (Moses Storm), Jess (Renee Olstead), Adam (Will Peltz) and Ken (Jacob Wysocki) – is infiltrated by a tormenter claiming to be a recent teen suicide victim. The entire film plays out through Blaire’s computer screen as she flips between Skype, Messenger and iTunes; her habits slowly piecing together the puzzle at the narratives core. Director Levan Gabriadze utilises the technique well and raises what can be at times a conventional script, highlighting modern fears and the darker recesses of the internet. The twists appear fresher due to the way they present themselves, and the scares come from the buffering of a video or what’s left unseen as Blaire hurriedly switches screens at a pivotal moment. Unfriended isn’t a complete game-changer – it doesn’t quite have enough of a reach. But it’s a skilful, scary and surprisingly poignant entry into the found footage canon.

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