The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review – Uniquely shot film surprises

By Jamil Oakford/editor-in-cheif

Looking into the complex world of teenage dating and social interactions is exhausting but still gripping in Unfriended.

The film centers around Laura Barns, a student whose drunken antics become a viral sensation. As it goes viral, online users chastise and ridicule her, driving her to shoot herself in the face. Consequently, the video of her suicide also goes viral.

Blair and Mitch attempt surviving their Skype call. All of Unfriended is shown through Blair’s computer screen. Photo courtesy Universal Studios
Blair and Mitch attempt surviving their Skype call. All of Unfriended is shown through Blair’s computer screen.
Photo courtesy Universal Studios

A year later, the film picks up with Blake Lilie’s computer screen as she Skypes with her boyfriend, a small circle of friends and an unexpected visitor by the name of ‘billie227.’

What started as a fun group Skype call suddenly turns into a struggle to both survive the games that the unknown visitor introduces and ultimately survive each other’s secrets.

This film is probably the most interesting because of the way it’s shot.

Every scene takes place on Lilie’s computer screen. One can appreciate the creativity it took to avoid the easy way out and show action off-computer.

One scene shows Val receiving a text message, and she promptly calls the cops. At any point in this scene, a cut to Val and the phone screen would’ve been expected, but instead, the audience watches from Lilie’s screen as Val freaks out in the Skype window.

One thing that drives the plot forward is the fact that these main characters don’t have many redeemable qualities about them. It makes for a gripping story, especially since they’re introduced as fun, normal and somewhat nice. This changes as the story progresses.

But the strength of Unfriended lies in its ability to tell a story effectively in an hour and a half. It’s comparable to a sprint: Be prepared to experience a lot in a short span of time.

In under 90 minutes, the mystery of who billie227 really is, who shot and posted the video that led to Barns’ suicide and the complicated lies between the small group of friends are covered and fully fleshed out.

While the movie fails to strike fear or terror, it has an eerie quality. Horror fans might find this a bore while others might find this a perfect amount of horror mixed in with suspense.

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