Tuesday, August 4, 2015

friendzone.

It's been caled the scariest movie since It Follows.

But in all honesty could it be any worse?

Unfriended (2014).
Dir: Levan Gabriadze.
Cast: Shelley Hennig, Renee Olstead, Will Peltz, Jacob Wysocki, Courtney Halverson, Moses Jacob Storm and Heather Sossaman.


What's fat and white and red all over? Ken in a blender.




It's been a year since the death of Laura Barns (Sossaman, Sossaman, does whatever a Sossaman can obviously), a mousy high schooler who committed suicide after a video of her pissed off her tits and covered in her own shite was posted on YouTube by a group of her classmates.

Which just goes to show how lucky kids today are seeing as when I was that age you'd have had to sit for hours and make a sketch of the carnage if you wanted evidence of any of your friends in such a state.

Or just take a photo obviously.

Anyway let's not dwell on such a tragedy and instead catch up with her amusingly monikered mate Blaire Lily (former Miss Louisiana Teen USA Hennig) who is currently teasing her boyfriend Mitch (Storm, cousin of Johnny and Sue). by flashing her bra at him on her 'webcam' and promising to let him stick it in her after the prom.

And who says kids today aren't romantic?

Luckily for those of us here for the scares - as opposed to grainy shots of a teen erection, they're quickly joined online by their three pals; Jess (vegetarian jazz singer and owner of some killer cheekbones Olstead), the chubby geek Ken  (Wysocki), and slick haired badboy Adam (Peltz, best known for his fantastic performance as the 'Nervous Young Man' in an early episode of Medium) for an evening of excited chat, friendly abuse and whatever else it is that kids today get up to online.

Oh yeah, they've also been joined by a spooky user named "billie227" who soon claims to be the dead Laura.


Scary.


"Aaaargh! I'm covered in bees!"


Whilst attempting to get rid of this bizarre interloper, Blaire notices that the late (as in dead, not bad at timekeeping) Laura's Facebook account has started sending bizarre messages to the friends, which makes them begin to suspect that someone might be playing a prank on them.

Rather than the more realistic notion of it being Laura's vengeful ghost obviously.

But who could the vile prankster be? I hear you cry.

The friends unilaterally nominate the wide mouthed bad girl - and ex German tank commander - Val Rommel (Halverson), so invite her to join them.

But no sooner has she proclaimed her innocence when Jess' Facebook page (ask your kids) is suddenly updated with a load of dodgy photos of a mightily pissed up Val, drunkenly smoking 'the drugs' and showing her frankly magnificently milky thighs.

To be honest I've not seen a pair this arousing since Megan went missing.

Which, before you email in any death threats is OK because in reality she's in her mid twenties.

Unlike Megan who I assume is still locked in that barrel.


Where's your lad tonight?

Being girls the pair start shouting at each other whilst ineffectually slapping their keyboards before pouting down the webcam lens as they desperately try to delete the incriminating photos.

As is the way with ghost stalkers with a thing for technology tho' they just keep re-appearing but this time alongside insulting messages regarding the pairs feminine hygiene and their love of cheap brandy. 

Val, incensed at being accused of liking such an old mans drink eventually calls 911 to report the abuse before randomly blaming Ken - who is fat and therefore must be evil - then signing out.

As the mysterious Laura e-mails more and more evidence of the friends cruelty to not just the group but to the tribute page set up to remember the dead girl - including a message from Val telling Laura to kill herself, it becomes obvious to all concerned that they must be dealing with a hacker who knew the victim and wants revenge.

Either that or someone is really desperate to get that 250 quid offered on You've Been Framed.


These are the kind of messages I get sent her every single week....just to let you know if anything happens to me you're marked.


With what looks like the entire online community suddenly berating Val for her nastiness, she suddenly appears back in chat and on her webcam but not as is the usual case with foxy teen girls, naked and covered in baby oil.

Probably.

I really wouldn't know.

Instead a totally terrified - yet still fairly foxy - Val is silently standing in her bathroom clutching a bottle of bleach whilst staring at the camera.

Which is a different kind of erotic than I'm used to whilst chatting online but what the hell I'll give it a shot.

Suddenly - and in a haze of pixels her computer is knocked to the ground and lands with the camera aimed at Val's by now shaky legs causing the ever concerned Blaire to speculate that Val is having a seizure.

Albiet one not caused by a demonic computer possession.

With the police on the scene but unaware of the still broadcasting webcam (and in a genuinely tense scene) the friends desperately try to discover what has actually happened to their friend by looking up the police codes online and are shocked to find that she's committed suicide.

And with that the camera disconnects.

Introducing the Ronko Wankaway....perfect for stopping your kids fall foul to the pleasures of the palm.


On this bombshell billie227 begins sending incriminating photos and messages to the rest of the group as cuddly Ken valiantly attempts to search for the computer virus which he thinks is responsible for letting the mysterious mentalist access their computers but unbeknown to our portly pal billie227's webcam has activated and much to everyone's horror it's situated in Ken's room.

Quickly (well for a fat bloke) finding the source of the camera, Ken's video feed abruptly disconnects, resuming seconds later to show Ken sticking his hand in a blender before removing the blades (with his other, less chewed hand obviously) and slitting his throat.

Or is it one of his many chins?

We'll never know as his cam suddenly disconnects.


A revenge obsessed DLT reveals his big blue baby bumming suit to an unwary Lorraine Kelly on GMTV yesterday.


With the four remaining friends too frightened to do anything other than sit and stare, Laura reveals her plan.

Mitch, Laura, Blaire and Adam are to play a game of the truth based party game Never Have I Ever but this time with added death alongside the dark and dirty secrets to spice things up.

Seems like a normal night out to me.

As the friends learn more and more regarding their true selves the begin to realise that they have each played a part, no matter how big or small in Laura's death and that the bonkers billie227 what's nothing less than total revenge....

Or at the very least some amusing screengrabs of them deepthroating cucumbers and the like for bribery purposes.

So who will survive the online 'orrors and how will they explain all this to their gran?


From first time full feature director Levan Gabriadze (bless you) comes a surprisingly taunt little thriller that rises above it's MTV backed blandness and delivers everything that the similarly youth based It Follows promised plus a little bit more besides.

Coming across as a more teen-friendly stable mate of Zachary Donohue's techno-chiller The Den with a smidgen of Smiley thrown in for good measure, Unfriended embraces it's new technology theme and real time running to its advantage, using such well know online tropes as buffering websites and pixel glitches to creepy effect, ably assisted by some tight and to the bone editing courtesy of Parker Laramie and Andrew Wesmanan (plus Almost Human's Josh Ethier) and a genuine conviction from its small band of actors not seen in a teen terror movie since Nancy Thompson, Tina Grey, Glen Lantz and bad boy Rod Lane last had a sleepover on Elm Street.


Now there's a mooth made for shite-in.


Ignore the shiny advertising and don't fear the teen-scream appeal because Unfriended is probably one of the most important horror movies in recent memory, perfectly capturing the fears and follies of modern technology whilst delivering some good old fashioned scares at the same time, it's The Last Broadcast for broadband botherers and one of the most satisfying chillers of recent memory.

After the ever abysmal It Follows and the arse-killing tedium of The Babadook it's great to see that someone can still supply the scares and Unfriended alongside Ted Geoghegan's terrific We Are Still Here (and a few others....see if you can spot them) go a long way to reaffirming my love for the genre.

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