Unfriended

 

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Unfriended may not be quite iconic, but the sinister nature of a computer icon is certainly novel.
 

Unfriended

 

Levan Gabriadze's Unfriended takes the ‘found footage’ format and puts it into real time. In fact, Unfriended is the first film in which the protagonist is a cursor – and the cursor curses her. She is Blaire Lily (Shelley Hennig) and on a normal school night she logs on to Skype to have a friendly flirt with her boyfriend Mitch (Moses Storm). But when she and Mitch are joined in a conference call with their friends Jess, Ken, Adam and Val, a seventh, anonymous, icon joins the chat room. And, after the friends have failed to delete this intruder, the icon declares itself – it is Laura, who committed suicide exactly one year ago…

 

The premise for Unfriended is certainly audacious, particularly as the entire film is acted out on a computer screen. And yet the unfolding applications – with witty musical interludes supplied by iTunes – keep us on the edge of our seats. It’s enormous fun and quite ingenious, if not as scary as it should be. But there is something unsettling about that wretched Skype ring tone, which now might just haunt the dreams of the Internet savvy. After all, everything is on-line – and the devil is a hacker.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Shelley Hennig, Moses Storm, Renee Olstead, Will Peltz, Jacob Wysocki, Courtney Halverson, Heather Sossaman.

 

Dir Leo Gabriadze, Pro Timur Bekmambetov and Nelson Greaves, Screenplay Nelson Greaves, Ph Adam Sidman, Ed Parker Laramie and Andrew Wesman, Costumes Veronika Belenikina.

 

Bazelevs Company/Blumhouse Productions-Universal Pictures

82 mins. USA. 2014. Rel: 1 May 2015. Cert. 15.