"Why don't they just turn off their computers?" is the question that never even crossed my mind while watching Unfriended, despite a lot of people saying it after watching the trailer. It was a question that was always going to be asked with a film like this but it was addressed without much notice quite early on. The premise of the film is that a group of friends are being messaged by a dead girl they went to school with and six of them ultimately get trapped in a chat room with her. The entire film takes place on a computer screen, there are no external shots at all.
I really enjoyed this aspect because it is not something I have seen before and so it had a lot of novelty on the big screen. When I see a computer screen I feel like I am in control, and it drove me nuts not being able to flick between the windows, but in the best way possible. I felt like I was missing something in the Skype window because it was minimised and needed to remind myself that I was not in control of what window was open.
The group of six friends had really good chemistry despite not being in the same room together. There was a true closeness between the group, like in groups in Scream and Friday the 13th, and it was intriguing to see this achieved in such a peculiar environment. You can see some relationships beginning to develop between characters and you begin to forget that they're all sitting in front of computer screens.
Without giving too much away, the film has a few too many silly bits and there were more moments where the packed cinema laughed than there were silent and suspenseful moments. I think that watching this movie on a laptop would have been a completely different experience, and I might have been more inclined to turn it off. But it was an unusual and refreshing experience seeing it in the cinema.
Unfriended deserves credit for its originality. It's a new generation being applied to the horror genre, but the interest surrounding it is purely novel. The film has felt doomed in my mind since I first heard about it. It could either be terrible or be good and create loads of terrible sequels or spinoffs. I wouldn't want to watch another film like this because there are not enough variables to make a similar film interesting, and while it wasn't terrible, I can only hope that it can be left now as a standalone film.