“Unfriended: Dark Web” has Hit or Miss Thrills as it Mashes Up Scenes from the Past
By Liz Lopez
“Unfriended: Dark Web,” written and directed by Stephen Susco (“The Grudge” and “The Grudge 2”), it is not much better than the 2014 “Unfriended” story. I am definitely not among the film fans that made the first film an unexpected commercial hit. While I did find that there is some good suspense in a few scenes, the majority of the story is not suspenseful and by the end of the film, I left feeling like I had viewed bits and pieces of scenes from other stories involving the use of digital devices, including Nacho Vigalondo’s 2014 “Open Windows” feature film. The script lacks enough original content to keep viewers intrigued and frequent fans of the horror/thriller genre will see right through it, even if set to modern times of technology. It is too predictable and not worth the full movie dollar ticket for my movie bucks.
“Unfriended: Dark Web” (now among the Blumhouse Productions) has several friends who meet for their “game night,” but change one night to play over the computer because of one person. Among the group is Aj (Connor Del Rio), DJ Lexx (Savira Windyani), a lesbian couple Serena (Rebecca Rittenhouse) and Nari (Betty Gabriel, “Get Out”), Damon (Andrew Lees) and Matias (Colin Woodell) who puts them all in danger after using someone else’s computer. We also view Matias chatting with his deaf girlfriend, Amaya (Stephanie Nogueras), who is obviously put out with his behavior at this time. The actors provide adequate performances, considering they are limited to the computer screen. It is pretty common knowledge as to how the game participants will be picked off in “Unfriended: Dark Web” and it gets old pretty quick, making the closing scenes appear to the viewer as “been there, seen that.”
“Unfriended: Dark Web” premiered in the 2018 SXSW Film Festival’s Midnight section. It went on to screen at the Overlook Film Festival (Official Selection) and Fantasia International Film Festival. It will now have a nationwide release on Friday July 20th. Check your local listings for Thursday screen times in your city.
The film is rated R and the run time is 88 minutes.
Source: BH TILT and Bazelevs production