Unfriended (2015) [4/5]

ONLINE, YOUR MEMORIES LAST FOREVER. BUT SO DO YOUR MISTAKES.

While video chatting one night, six high school friends receive a Skype message from a classmate who killed herself exactly one year ago. At first they think it's a prank, but when the girl starts revealing the friends' darkest secrets, they realize they are dealing with something out of this world, something that wants them dead. Told entirely from a young girl's desktop computer, Unfriended redefines 'found footage' for a new generation of teens.

One of the stronger conceptual horror outputs of recent years, almost like a cross between Zachary Donohue's equally intense (and more cleverly concluded) The Den (2013) & Ben Chanan's concisely crafted Cyberbully (2015). All three are successful projects in my eyes. Five aspects that make Unfriended stand out as superior to a lot of contemporary horror flicks are its uncomfortably distorted visual aesthetic; its patient and quick-witted direction; its realized and relatively dedicated performances from the young cast; its complete and total un-reliance on jump scares and its group-Skype-call structure, which quickly pulled me in and kept me mesmerized by the chaos all throughout its brief and appropriate <90 minute runtime. Certainly not perfect, but very good, enjoyable stuff nonetheless.

The infinite and timeless expanse,
of the ever-growing cyberspace.
And all of the evil that inhabits it:
"what u've done will live here forever"

-Eli Hayes