“Unfriended” easily could’ve fallen under the category of most of today’s teen horror flicks: All style and no substance. Or it could’ve easily have been a cheap remake or reboot.
Instead, it introduces a lot of clever elements that make it surprisingly enjoyable.
The movie focuses on a group of teens chatting away on their computers through their various methods of communication: Facebook, Skype, e-mail, Instagram, etc. A mysterious hacker takes over and terrorizes them one by one. The kids don’t know who the hacker is or why they’re being targeted; all they know is that they want to survive ... and see their newest notifications on Facebook.
The movie utilizes an innovative visual technique by allowing all the action to be seen through a computer screen. It never cuts directly into their homes or bedrooms to see the events from their perspective.
The way it’s put together is really straightforwardly clever and unique for a horror movie and allows some ebb and flow in the plot despite some unoriginal elements. It’s also shot documentary-style in the tradition of “The Blair Witch Project.” It also borrows from horror films like “Paranormal Activity” and “Saw.”
“Unfriended” may only appeal to rabid horror fans, but it does contain many moments of genuine suspense and solid work from its young cast to keep it going. Just be careful the next time you go on Twitter.
(Rated R for violent content, pervasive language, some sexuality, and drug and alcohol use.)
Hall is a syndicated columnist in south Georgia.