Unfriended: Dark Web - 2018
Director(s): Stephen Susco
Writer(s): Stephen Susco
Cinematography by: Kevin Stewart
Editor(s): Andrew Wesman
Cast: Rebecca Rittenhouse, Betty Gabriel, Chelsea Alden, Colin Woodell, Andrew Lees and Stephanie Nogueras
Synopsis: A teen comes into possession of a new laptop and soon discovers that the previous owner is not only watching him, but will also do anything to get it back (IMDB).
This is the stand-alone sequel to the 2014’s Unfriended. The original follows a girl bullied to the point that she commits suicide and hunts her bullies through the power of the internet. Something that I found to be funnier than scary, but that was my impression. Since it was made through the Blumhouse model low production budget, it yielded a nice return for the studios and now we are here once again. But now, instead of a ghost that has powers that don’t really make sense, we have hackers with god-like powers taking out the teens through the internet.
One of the upgrades I saw from the original was the directing, thanks to Stephen Susco taking over the reins. The flow of the screen and how the lead jumps from app to app was genuinely entertaining and well made. They utilized the sounds and rings of the computer to their advantage, creating a sense of dread and tension every time he got an IM from one of the hackers. I appreciated the autofill from the browsers search and there is a moment where the computer is shutting down and the volume starts to fade away that I thought was very well done.
Ok. There. I was positive.
This movie is bad and I don’t mean bad-bad, I mean laugh-out-loud bad. And bad-bad too. It’s bad. There are so many sequences within this movie that with just a single ounce of logic completely falls apart. But I laughed and had a great time nonetheless. The entire premise of the movie hinges around a character getting that laptop. So this god-like hacker’s entire plan would’ve gone to sideways if the character decided not to take the laptop. Was there a back-up plan? Oh – and when I say god-like hackers, I mean GOD-like. They feel like hackers from the 90s where Hollywood writers didn’t know the limitations of the internet and anything was possible. I found myself saying out loud to my wife, “Do they have powers? Because this is impressive.”
While I enjoyed the flow of the visuals in terms of the computer screen, I was immediately turned off by the characters and the acting. Outside of the lead character, none of them felt like real human beings. They felt like internet stereotypes shoved into a Skype call/game night that completely ignores the rules of Cards Against Humanity. I guess they hacked the rules. Among the stereotypes you had the conspiracy theorist who hates the governments and goes on awful rants that just make you cringe at the screen and feel sorry for the actor that delivered the lines. They had zero chemistry, their friendships weren’t believable and their arcs, if you can call them that, were inconsequential. Also, the crying was so bad. So bad.
Unfriended: Dark Web is riddled with bad acting, implausible events and uninteresting characters that leave you just staring at the screen baffled as to why you should care. While it boasts a slick design it is just bells and whistles to try to hide the fact that nothing is happening. I can easily see this movie coming back to my website but under the “So Bad It’s Good” banner, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time. Why I love movies?
Unfriended: Dark Web is currently playing in theaters. Wait for it to hit Netflix and laugh along with me.
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