Saturday, April 18, 2015

Unfriended, A Cautionary Tale for A New Generation

6 of 6 viewers "Liked" "Unfriended" (USA, 2015)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Lord Battle - "Annoying kids have always been murdered in horror films, just never like this. Imagine the intro to "Prom Night" but modern and done over the internet... Unfriended isn't what I had in mind when I started this blog but it's exactly the kind of film I wanted to write about, low brow/high art, bravo!" - 5 Stars

Huntress - "This is definitely a cautionary tale for the next generation, who won't be able to escape the internet while growing up. Everything from the dialog to the situation felt authentic after a slightly awkward start. Once I got used to the Skype filmed format, I got really into the story. I was so surprised by the amount of suspense they were able to inject into the story and always in ways that were relevant to the format. There were a couple of moments where the dialog felt like a parent trying to scare the audience away from drinking but it worked for the cautionary tale aspect." - 4.5 Stars

Book Wyrm - "Unfriended was originally a movie I knew little about and had even less faith in. I knew it was about being cyber bullied and then haunted by the ghost of that victim but I had no idea it was entirely through a computer screen during a Skype session. The movie felt incredibly realistic and the acting was incredibly convincing. It felt as though it did happen all at one night and that the shooting took place all in one take. Unfriended was very suspenseful and there were parts where I needed to close my eyes. I enjoyed the movie very much and it was definitely a pleasant surprise. If you have the chance see it, do it!" - 4 Stars

The Impostor - "Unfriended is a rather interesting and new concept added to the found footage-like films. It actually feels like you are on your computer, I was surprised how engaged I was and how much this film exceeded my expectations. This is a horror film and has a few jump scares but also I feel it's attempting to show people how cyber-bulling is out there and people really do kill themselves because of these kinds of things. Overall Unfriended is executed better than I expected." - 4 Stars

Unicorn Slayer - "First off, I have to say, the way in which this film was made was absolutely brilliant. The style, aside from being relatively easy to pull off on a low budget, was believable and immersive. Even in being filmed completely on a computer screen, it was easy to watch and follow and never became boring or flat. I am definitely not at all a fan of jump scares, or one to appreciate them, but they were tolerable in this film. Following all the right paths of successful films before it, it mirrors the classic supernatural punishment film, retelling the story with a nod to found footage, Unfriended is the perfect taste of horror for the next generation." - 4 Stars.

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*

Unfriended seems like the early summer horror hit that prays on the moronic by giving them annoying characters, no plot, and a ghost. They will make millions and once again solidify horror as low brow garbage that's made to be ignored while you makeout / become intoxicated. I'd just like to say, if this is what you're looking for this film could still work for you but it is far from actually fitting that role. Opening with the most realistic horror scene in a movie I can think of, Unfriended is packed with tension,a couple huge cinematic breakthroughs, and peppered with jump-scares.
The film opens with a computer screen open to the page "Live Leaks," prompted by a disclaimer asking that you click "I agree" to being 18+ to view the following video (Has anyone ever clicked the other button?). This is one of the moments people don't think about and the best example of this film's main theme; taking responsibility for what you do on the internet.
The video is our soon to be poltergeist killing herself. I make light of the situation because horror is often funny when thought of in a realistic manner; the reason this case isn't very funny is because kids are watching actual death daily on this site and on the million various avenues there are to find things you shouldn't see. Then there's the whole theme of cyber bullying but that is already being talked about a lot. I'd just like to say that this is by far, the best cyber-bullying movie to date and I'm a big fan of CyberBully.
As far as cinema is concerned, this film could feel as alien as the first time you see a Harmony Karin film, but it doesn't. There are often upwards of 3 things on screen that you could be watching at any given moment, the trick is to listen and make choices as to which is most important. Honestly it's not as life and death as I'm making it sound but, as far as a horror film goes, I found my self keeping busy looking at things couldn't become a jump-scare of some form. Now the suspense in this film is amazing and I think a huge part of that is because of the alien shooting style. This film is literally just one computer monitor that we see through, operated by the "good girl" of our 5 brat kids. Since they are talking over Skype or various other programs the scenery changes enough that we stay entertained and don't even realize until it's over that there is no cutting in the way we are used too. Conversations, deaths, jokes, and location changes all happen through one screen. So we aren't getting "cool shots" or jump-cuts and the tension builds in a natural and very effective way because of this. Not to mention that we actually get a good idea of what our protagonist is thinking, since we not only get to see how she reacts to things but also the messages she starts to type out but deletes. We also get to see what she decides to send via a messenger rather than just speak over Skype. Huntress nailed it when she said this is a cautionary tale for a new generation because it truly is. Imagine showing someone this movie 20 years ago, they'd have no clue what was going on.
Normally what is written down in this section should be seen after viewing the film but since it's new and so many people don't know what to expect, I spent a lot of time kinda explaining just that. So if you end up seeing this film, please come back to the Overlook Theatre and discuss it. There are seriously not enough comments for the amount of views I'm seeing daily... So start now!

- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

No comments:

Post a Comment