Review; ‘Unfriended’ (yes, the film, not a play) WARNING; SPOILERS likely ensue (but also nothing’s /that/ surprising)

Context; myself and a friend decided to go see a film, and Unfriended was the only thing in that either of us had heard of (go on advertising). Also this is basically an extended version of #FiftyShadesofBluesReviewsAscending from this week’s broadcast of Fractal on FlirtFM.

[So!] As I said before, I am very okay with admitting to liking stuff that isn’t necessarily good. [Anyway!] I liked this film. The premise is that five friends are on Skype and it’s the one year anniversary of someone in their school who killed themselves because of cyberbullying. The weird thing about the film? It takes place entirely on one person’s laptop screen. Enter APPLE LAPTOPS; the world’s most haunted laptops. But really though, the silliest thing of this film was the things that went ridiculously wrong with Main Character’s laptop like button’s missing from program and such.

The idea of all the action taking place on a laptop is based off of Found-Footage genre scary films (think Blaire Witch Project). I could potentially see this taking off as a new genre of perspective that takes off. This seems especially possible whenone takes into account the demographic of people /in/ the film; typical, soon to be graduating, American high-school teens. Are clichés such as old creaky haunted houses as relevant today as the used to be? Considering most people move into houses with more technology built into the walls than Apollo 9, rather than known-haunted-houses, I think haunted technology poses a much greater threat now than old creepy houses.

One of the great things about this film is the realism is captures in the way the technology is utilised. There’s changes from Skype (written messages) , to Facebook, to messenger. Even though they basically all do the same thing, it does reflect the way we use multiple platforms to get our points across. But also, the question is posed – why do they not just get off their laptops? They can’t. That is what technology is. It obviously has a lot to say about cyber-bullying.

Poignantly enough, the end of the film shows outpourings of [superficial/] grief on the behalf of the departed. Perhaps its trying to remind us that no matter what stupid, embarrassing thing is on the internet about you, it’s never /that/ bad. With people now being immortalised on the internet before their even a day old, this message may become even more prominent. Your image and identity are no longer your own, and more people are going to start life with identities already created for them online.

To make a long story short, I’d recommend watching this. It may be more fun to watch in the dark actually on your laptop – an extra immersive advantage to this film, no doubt appealing to the way we now traditionally view things, as opposed to on TVs, or big screens.

Published by Blue Hanley

Galway-based Theatre-maker who loves circus, conventions and travelling.

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