Tom Basham

Unfriended

In This Just OUT on April 18, 2015 at 2:51 pm

unfriended-posterThere are worse things than being “Unfriended” – like seeing the movie named for the same Facebook-coined term. Not everything online is as much fun as a Minion Meme.

Blaire (Shelley Hennig from “Ouija“) loves to Skype with her boyfriend Mitch (Moses Jacob Storm in his feature film debut). They get a little playful until three of their friends show up in the same Skype session. It’s all fun and games until they notice someone else is in on the group chat. The mystery messenger is using the profile of Laura Barns (Heather Sossaman from “Remembering Phil”), a girl who committed suicide a year ago after a nasty round of trashing by cyber-bullies. Laura only communicates by instant message, while the others are on camera with mics. She threatens to kill anybody who tries to leave the session, which at first they think is a joke.

The movie started with Blaire’s laptop screen covering the entire movie screen. After about five minutes in, I remembered how boring it is watching someone’s computer screen, and I wondered how long this could go on. Eventually I succumbed to the horror in knowing we were never going to see anything but Blaire’s computer screen.  Sure there were others coming and going in their little Skype boxes – but we didn’t even cut to their screens – we stayed on her screen for the entire movie.

I know lots of people watch a movie on their computer, and I have done it a few times, but I have never gone to a theater and watched a whole movie on the big screen on a computer screen. At 30 minutes in I almost walked out. Then I realized I might just be old and not able to see this gimmick as a nouveau-web-world-cinema-masterpiece. So I hung on to the end, if for no other reason than to let my friends know if this was something they should “like.”

Director Levan Gabriadze (“Lucky Trouble”) deserves some credit for only using Skype to expose the modern internet experience of today’s virtual relationships and how they creep into the real world. Watching these kids try to defy the digital demon of death in a web world of their own lies was a little bit interesting.

Being boxed into the little screen on the big screen, you sensed how they were trapped in their typing teasing temples of temptation. For that reason, I must give this movie 2 1/2 stars out of 5. Just see it on the little screen, and don’t go to a theater to watch a movie on a computer.

Tom Basham is an indie filmmaker. Here is a link to his movie review site:
 https://bashmovies.wordpress.com

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