After a humiliating drunken video surfaces online Laura Barnes is bullied relentlessly by her peers until she takes her own life with a gun. One year later a group of 5 friends are skyping together when an online presence claiming to be Laura joins their conversation and begins terrorizing them. From here Unfriended follows the basic slasher formula of picking off teenagers one at a time in reverse order of likeability. Ken, the fat kid with the Hawaiian shirt whom they presumably keep around for comedy relief, dies first. Before exacting deadly revenge against her enemies, Laura’s ghost exposes their dirty teenage secrets and succeeds at playing them against each other. The lessons are quite obvious: 1) Any picture or video taken of you can come back to bite you in the ass and 2) Teenagers are filthy, cruel, backstabbing monsters who need to be monitored at all times.
It’s a fairly enjoyable and creative take on the modern found footage horror movie but I did become mildly irritated by the format. The whole movie takes place on a computer screen and while that does open up new possibilities, it also means that the viewer is subjected to clicking, typing, IM’ing, buffering, downloading, deleting and refreshing pages for an hour and a half. It wears a bit thin but the story is compelling enough to make you need to know how it all ends up.