Movie Reviews

Published on July 18th, 2018 | by Michael Newman

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Unfriended: Dark Web

It seems no matter where you look these days, there’s some reference to the “Dark Web”.  These references range from credit card or Social Security numbers being traded to all sorts of heinous acts that would not only be frowned upon but outright illegal in most countries.  The Dark Web and all the nefarious secrets it holds sets the stage for the stand-alone sequel to Blumhouse Productions original film Unfriended.

Unfriended: Dark Web stars Colin Woodell as Matias, a man in his early twenties who is hard at work on an App that he hopes will allow him to better communicate with his deaf girlfriend Amaya (Stephanie Nogueras).  His dedication to the app and his insistence on utilizing technology versus simply learning sign language has driven a wedge in their relationship and that lack of ability to communicate plays an important role in the film.

On what seems to be a typical game night of Cards Against Humanity (played on Skype because it’s too difficult for the gang to meet in person), Matias reveals that he has purchased a “new” laptop off Craigslist.  While it is clearer and much faster than his previous computer, it regularly hangs and crashes while they are trying to play the game.  While investigating the cause of the hang-ups, Matias uncovers a treasure trove of films that are hidden on the laptop.  His curiosity gets the best of him and he begins to watch the films only to realize that he has fallen into a den of horror where people pay a lot of money to kill people off in very specific ways.  Unfortunately, not only is he sharing what he has discovered with all his friends, but there are also other participants watching his every move.

Unfriended: Dark Web uses much of the same camera tricks that the original used.  The entire movie is shot from the perspective of the audience watching the events unfold on the screen as if each were on their own laptop.  The action takes place over Facebook Messenger, Skype, and Google and the fact that most people are familiar with these tools helps the audience feel like they are part of the events even more.  By the end of the movie it is clear that you are as much of a participant in the horror that unfolds as the individuals participating via the Dark Web.  I enjoyed the use of the various technologies to draw the viewer in as much as I did in the original Unfriended.  It’s a very interesting and unique way to tell a story. 

Unfriended: Dark Web certainly kept my interest throughout the film.  I felt it took a little while to find it’s footing, but like a roller coaster with an extremely high climb, once you get over the hump it’s an exhilarating and fulfilling ride.  While the technology used may be a bit exaggerated, it is realistic enough to give you that uneasy feeling that this could really happen.  While it would take the uttermost bad luck for the events to happen in the perfect way as they do in the film, I enjoyed watching it all unfold.  Even though I am still more afraid of my credit card information being sold on the Dark Web than the events of Unfriended happening, I would recommend this film to anyone who’s a fan of the genre.

What I liked: Interesting premise, Unique perspective

What I liked less: Characters were a bit too stereotypical, Really no connection to the first film other than the name

3.5 out of 5 stars

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