I was definitely interested in the concept for this movie, filmed entirely on a computer through a Skype call was totally a new style of filming - there have of course been films and TV shows that have had scenes through a video call, but not one where that was how the full film was shot. For a film like this to work, you would need a strong cast as it would be a very character driven story and it would have to keep the audience hooked throughout - so I decided to give this film a chance.
Synopsis: 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.
So we start the film on Blaire's (played by Shelley Hennig, Secret Circle) computer - watching from a first person point of view - as she watches a humiliating video that an unknown person posted online of her best friend since childhood Laura (played by Heather Sossaman) where after a night drinking, she passed out and soiled herself. The video went viral and Laura became the victim of terrible cyber-bullying and cruel comments. The next video shown is from a news website, showing Laura committing suicide while fellow students stood by and watched with their cameras at the ready. A Skype Call interrupts her and she has a steamy call with her jock boyfriend Mitch (played by Moses Jacob Storm) where she tells him she's ready to lose her virginity and she wants it to be on Prom Night. Their romantic/sexy talk gets cut short when their friends - sassy Jess (Renee Olstead), computer geek Ken (played by Jacob Wysocki) and bad boy Adam (Will Peltz), along with a faceless account named "billie227" - who claims to be Laura. With several attempts to get rid of Laura/Billie fails, the group believe it may be the Queen Bee, Val (Courtney Halverson) playing a cruel joke because it is the year anniversary of Laura's death and she is added to the call. Soon it becomes apparent that it is none of them and fear sets in as Laura lays down the law - she wants the group to play Never Have I Ever (minus the alcohol) to reveal the friends' dark secrets and the loser dies.
The film gets very dark after this as and deaths happen as each person reveals secrets that starts breaking their bond of friendship and each person cannot trust each other, plus Laura throws in her own little twists that makes this game of Never Have I Ever very intense. The acting in this film was really good, but Shelley Hennig shone through as the strong female lead whose character wasn't as innocent as the audience originally believes and she worked incredibly well with the rest of the cast. Moses Jacob Storm and Renee Olstead were very good at portraying the complex emotions of their characters - going from happy and positive to emotional and unstable, while Will Peltz's character went from being cocky to paranoid as it was revealed he also did some unforgivable deeds. The characters of Val and Ken were only in the film briefly, but they were the two that I felt were very stereotyped - the bitchy mean girl and the fat computer geek. Although Laura was the film's antagonist, she was my favourite character. She had a feisty attitude when she was alive, but Blaire knew that she had a difficult home life with her family and it was hinted that she was being abused by her uncle.
As you can expect from a teen horror, they were quite graphic for a couple characters and others were more sinister as the audience does not see what happens. Laura's game revealed that none of the characters were good, in fact they all did some really horrible things - I personally got to a point where I thought some of them were getting what they deserved. Then came the total game changer... Laura wanted to know who posted the video that had caused her to kill herself.
Nelson Greaves manages to write a screenplay with realistic dialogue and complex characters that are neither all good or all bad. while weaving in the supernatural elements of ghosts and possession that worked surprisingly well in the plot - the theme of bullying plays a key role in this story and shows a serious side of the consequences of cyber-bullying and trolling can have on the victim. Taking on the director role is Levan Gabriadze who makes the film flow effortlessly and continuously as if that characters were experiences the events in real time and it looked like it was filmed in entirely one shot.
Overall, I thought it was a good film and would definitely recommend it - fantastic cast with a gripping script and a unique style of filming.
What did you think? Put your thoughts on Unfriended in the comments below or if you haven't seen it, check out the trailer below: