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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

May 3, 2015

Movie Review: 'Unfriended' - Horror In Cyber Space

CURRENTLY THE talk of the town among writer friends is “Unfriended”, a horror flick starring unknown stars but with a clever plot premise. A girl, Laura Barns (Heather Sossamon), killed herself after being the victim of cyber bullying. She blew herself up with a gun on a video that later went viral.
On the anniversary of her suicide, many of her friends who are skyping online notice a curious participant joining them. One of them receives a text message from the dead girl and things then get really weird, with each of them dying one by one.

If you’re a member of the Jurassic era who doesn’t use e-mail, Facebook and Skype and is totally ignorant of computer usage, then you might not be able to relate with the movie. But if you’re a techie who knows the internet and cyberspace, you will enjoy it.

Blaire (Shelly Hennig), Val (Courtney Halvorsen), Matt (Matthew Bohrer), Adam (Will Peltz), Mitch (Moses Jacob Storm), Jess (Renee Olstead) and Ken (Jacob Wysocki) are the would be victims of the mystery entity known as Billie227 who slowly reveals the worst secrets of everyone.

The group tries their best to disconnect themselves from Billie who cunningly teases and torments them, but they cannot do so. In one instance, someone Googles for information about how to shut down a dead person's Facebook page and they hit on a site about online communications from the dead, headlined with a picture of a hanging corpse. By skipping back and forth between the skyping, texting, googling and other elements often used today by the internet generation, writer Nelson Greaves and director Leo Gabriadze create a living breathing world that can feel so real and menacing.

The idea of something sinister existing in cyberspace like an interloper or a vengeful spirit is a pretty smart horror element and the film succeeds in having some truly jolting scary moments even if it unfolds entirely on the computer of one of the characters. It could also have been more effective if we could sympathize with the victims. But in most cases, they just deserve the punishment they get from the avenging spirit who is obviously really, really pissed.