I recently saw the trailer for Universal's new horror film Unfriended. It's set to release this April, and to be honest I couldn't be more excited. The first thing mentioned in the trailer is that this film is the first in it's sub genre of cyber horror. Just that statement alone concerned me. See, this isn't the first time computers, and cyber technology has been included in horror films. However when done before, the film either just wasn't frightful enough, or it just didn't read well. Smiley for example even though I love there term "I DID IT FOR THE LULZ", was not the scariest horror film to begin with. Also for example Paranormal Activity 4 was mostly done over video chat, and I remember being extremely annoyed.
The marketing for this specific film was spot on to be honest. The scare factor was heightened immensely before even getting to the theater itself. However after about 20mins of the video chat POV, you get tired of it. It becomes boring, and gives the audience nothing to experience when it comes to the film. I personally started trying to see past the actor in the camera. Also the off screen scares tend to get tired as well. Another film that used the video chat POV happened to nail it in my opinion.
VHS released in 2012 had a video chat scene that was not only creepy, it left a lasting impression on me. The scene of the lady and her long distance boyfriend, that frighteningly takes a turn for the weirdest worse was amazing. The use of the POV was actually terrifying. Showing just enough, but still not enough to make out what exactly was going on. The whole scene in this POV was actually effective and it's purpose worked.
Yes it's known that less is more. To not see everything is sometimes the actual horror in a film. To let the audience make up appearances and imagine the gruesome results works all the time. However camera angles and movement are everything. The movement of cameras came about because no one wants to see a film with one angle POV. The storytelling besides the script, is told with the camera. And if there is no movement, or angles, there is no story.
However I'm sure the twist and turns of this film will carry extremely well with the audience. The backstory is quite interesting. It's about a bullied teen that commits suicide, and comes back online to kill her tormentors. I'm extremely excited to see how this all turns out.This film is definitely something I'm looking forward to this Spring. Make sure you catch Unfriended in theaters this April.