In “Unfriended,” an anonymous Skype user seeks revenge on those who drove a friend to kill herself by posting a video to YouTube. It’s scary because it’s easy to imagine the scenario really playing out.
Warning: This trailer contains gore, so view it at your own risk.
There’s just something about being blood-curdlingly scared out of my pants that draws me to horror films. Often, such movies are so far outside of reality that there’s a sort of safety in watching them. Yeah, this is horrible, but something like that couldn’t actually happen in real life, right?
But then a movie like “Unfriended” comes along with a premise that’s so feasible, it’s truly horrifying. In “Unfriended,” a teenage girl’s life is ruined when someone posts an anonymous video of her online. After enduring slut-shaming, she decides to commit suicide, an act that is also captured and posted online. Exactly one year after her death, an anonymous person uses the dead girl’s Skype account to contact everyone who might have posted the first video online, demanding that the responsible person come forward and confess. When they don’t, they start getting be killed off one by one in some pretty gruesome ways.
Now, this obviously isn’t a scenario that has ever actually played out, but it’s not at all difficult to imagine something like this happening in real life. We’re living in a time where almost our entire lives are online, and it just takes one screwup captured on video to completely mess up someone’s life and lead to despair. And, since things can be posted anonymously on the Internet, the people who post these videos often face no repercussions (though things like posting revenge porn arequickly becoming illegal in more areas). It’s easy to imagine someone taking matters into their own hands in these situations, which is what makes “Unfriended” so terrifyingly real.
As a parent I’m even more terrified. Could I one day come home and find my kid dead because of some stupid mistake he made at a party that’s been posted to YouTube? Even if not, this is the world we’re living in now.
So will I end up watching “Unfriended” when it lands in theaters in the US on April 17 (UK on May 1)? Probably, and I bet it will be the scariest movie I’ve seen in a long time because it hits so close to home. You can check out the trailer for “Unfriended” for yourself at the top of this post.