Christine had you frightened of your car, Payphone made you afraid of public payphones (remember those?), The Ring had you terrified of your VCR, and now Unfriended will make you fear Skype video chatting!
A new trailer for Unfriended, the Timur Bekmambetov-produced horror that’s disappointingly not about unfriended people on Facebook getting systematically wiped out, is online. Watch it here below.
In the vein of I Know What You Did Last Summer, the movie has six friends, including Teen Wolf’s Shelley Hennig, threatened by an anonymous user who entered their Skype group video chat on the anniversary of the suicide of a classmate. In the trailer, we see that the student who died was cyberbullied, and these six video chatters likely had something to do with it, because the unknown person wants the guilty party to admit their wrong doings. If any of the participants try to log off the chat or stop talking, then someone will die, and we see that lucky seven somehow has control over the computers and the physical settings of each participant.
The film is shot completely from the computer screen of one of the participants, so we see functions like multiple chat windows, screen-switching, and copy/pasting (that alone is terrifying to my mom!), which might be a bit to sit through. But, we see there’s plenty of jump-scares similar to movies like Paranormal Activity, and in a world where most of us are completely sucked in to our home computers and handheld devices, Unfriended is a real-world horror. I’m still annoyed about the title, since it’s SO misleading, but I am so humored by the premise of having teenagers forced to stay online to chat or die!!!!
I’ve used Skype a lot, especially to record podcasts, so I know from experience that it’s not the most stable of applications, as the calls freeze up or drop quite frequently. Then there’s always the issue of one’s own personal internet access and strength, so I wonder how the film addresses these probabilities, if at all. Perhaps the anonymous user has the ability to boost internet strength and keep Skype stable; if so, I invite the potential killer to join my Skype podcasting sessions, as we could really use the help with that. (Oh no, I hope I didn’t just land myself a spot in the eventual sequel, Podcast, about a group of podcasters forced to continue discussing comics and movies under penalty of death!)
The Levan Gabriadze-directed Unfriended, which premiered last July at the Fantasia Festival under the name Cybernatural, was picked up by Universal Pictures for distribution and will hit theaters on April 17, 2015.
Six high school friends with a dark secret receive a Skype message from a classmate who committed suicide a year ago after someone uploaded a video of her online.