Unfriended: Dark Web Movie Review
Unfriended: Dark Web Movie Review Metadata
It’s murder and mayhem on the mystical monitor in the latest addition to the ‘cyber horror’ genre.
In Unfriended: Dark Web (2018), much like in the previous film Unfriended (2015), five individuals engaged in discussions in an internet chatroom are terrorized by a mysterious serial cyber stalker.
Matias (Colin Woodell) has just obtained a gently used laptop, and he would like to impress his girlfriend, Amaya (Stephanie Nogueras), with new software to assist with their Skyping communications as she is hearing impaired. During the software installation process, Matias Skypes (or contacts) his four friends: Serena (Rebecca Rittenhouse), Nari (Betty Gabriel, from the film Get Out (2017)), Damon (Andrew Lees), and Dj Lexx (Savira Windyani). The five friends begin a game of Cards Against Humanity, when Matias discovers a hidden file filled with a collection of unsettling video clips on his laptop, including one starring a recent and local news-worthy abductee, Erica Dunne (Alexa Mansour). By obtaining the laptop in the way that he had, Matias had interfered in the affairs of an anonymous group of individuals who did not appreciate the meddling. Retaliation by the dark group onto the five friends ensues, ruining a perfectly enjoyable night of chatroom Cards Against Humanity.
In much of the same style of cyber horror films, The Den (2014), Ratter (2016), Like.Share.Follouw(2017), and Friend Request (2016), director Stephen Susco creates an atmosphere of terror, fear through sympathetic voyeurism, and a heightened sense of suspense, entirely through a computer monitor and its process of displaying information. Reactions and decisions made by the characters on screen may be scripted, but most of the acting succeeds in authenticating the characters in their scenes and scenarios through convincing facial acting and reacting moments. Much in the same way that the Paranormal Activity (2007-2015) series made the “found footage horror film” popular with the masses yet inexpensive to produce to the auteur, “cyber horror films” like Unfriended and others appear to be catching on in much of the same ways.
Personally, I do not mind these cyber horror films. To me, a film works based on how convincing and compelling the film’s content feels to the viewer. There are some not-so-great cyber horror films out there, just as there are a number of not-so-great found footage horror films. Films like these are certainly an acquired taste. They are either enjoyed or despised. If you enjoyed the first Unfriended film, chances are you will enjoy this sequel. It is not too far off from the first, and it supplies the content with which it is only intended and expected to present to its audience. No more and no less. Still interested? Then, catch it at your local cinema this weekend.