Some ideas are great like universal healthcare, public education and transportation. Other ideas – though unique and original – are simply just bad. Fascism and 24 hour news networks being examples. The experiment of “Unfriended” is the latter.
Set completely from the point of view of someone using a computer, “Unfriended” tries to make itself seem like a modern horror film for the ages but fails at even being a film. Perhaps the reason why a horror film set completely in a computer hasn’t been made is because rainbow wheels are not suspenseful; they’re just frustrating. Web browsing is not action; it’s what keeps one from doing any action.
“Unfriended” takes place exactly one year after a girl named Laura’s suicide as a result of video of her in a drunken stupor is posted online. Technically she commits suicide as a result of the cyberbullying that followed. The main characters are the only white kids in Fresno and unfortunately all of them are assholes in their own bland but terrible way. Take Adam (Will Peltz) the best-friend of Mitch (Moses Storm). He roofies girls and forces them to get abortions while at the same time having sex with his best friend’s girlfriend Blaire (Shelley Hennig). Let’s also throw in the fact that he’s a drunk who owns a gun.
As more is revealed about Adam I wondered where his parents are. In fact I wondered where all of their parents are. They’re all still in high school, they have their own rooms. Do they just have shitty parents? Are they all on vacation at the same time? These questions go unanswered because if there were parents, there would be a solution. Then fortunately there would be no movie.
What is unfortunate about “Unfriended” is that it’s funny. This wouldn’t be a problem if it was meant to be funny, but it isn’t. Note the longest game of “Never Have I Ever.” This is where it’s revealed that everybody is a bad person. From Adam’s date raping to Mitch’s snitching, no one is innocent. During times when Blaire is surfing the web, you can see her friends in the video chat laughing while Ken (Jacob Wysocki) speaks. We don’t hear the conversation because we’re not supposed to. But I want to hear it because everyone’s laughing which means Ken telling the funniest story ever. I really hoped that when Blaire went back to the conversation that he said something along the lines of “… and then they made me their chief.”
The moral of the story is that cyber bullying is wrong. I’m not arguing that. But the reason why these characters died (by some of the most creative of means) is because they did not take responsibility of their actions. Can I blame them? Of course I can’t; they don’t take responsibility in Laura’s death because they haven’t learned about the value of doing so. But at least they had the sense to use Chrome as their browser of choice.