Unfriended (Leo Gabriadze, 2015)

What's it about? On the anniversary of a classmate's death, a group of teenagers interacting online together realize they are apparently being stalked by an anonymous and possibly supernatural figure.

Is it any good? The central gimmick here is that the entire film is simply a view of a single laptop screen, with the 'action' consisting of conversations via social media between the small cast of characters. And kudos to the makers for sticking to the concept throughout and mining it in inventive ways, with views of the various messages, videos, Skype calls and internet searches overlapping to good effect as they track how the group dynamics shift and disintegrate under the pressure. It's clever and interesting enough to hold the attention, even as events start to become more unlikely. However, although it deals with thorny issues like cyber-bullying, internet safety and personal responsibility about what you put online, it isn't quite subversive enough to become truly unsettling, especially in exploring that 'need' to view something you really shouldn't.  That said, the bewildering way that tech-savvy teens live out their lives and interact with each other online these days will no doubt strike fear into many parents' hearts. What a sign of the times that the tension is generated by a message alert popping into view at the side of the screen, rather than a knife-wielding killer looming into the frame.

Anything else I should know? For full disconcerting and immersive effect it should be watched on a laptop, as I did. It is somewhat worrying that it took me some time to stop reacting to those familiar message chimes as if it was me, rather than the laptop user in the film, that was getting a message. Even though she was using a Mac and I was on a PC. Truly, we are slaves to the Internet now.

What does the Fonz think? 'Like' and 'Share'

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