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I sure hope kids aren't actually as shitty as "Unfriended" implies.

You guys are all aware that Unfriended is kind of a bad movie, right?  I don't need to rehash that for you here?


My opinion falls right in the middle of the scale.  I'm going to give it a 2.5 / 5, I think, which means it's bad, but not horrendous.

Unfriended is a gimmick movie that makes as much use out of its conceit - a real-time horror that takes place entirely on the protagonist's computer screen - as possible.  It's also basically just your average angry ghost movie: the vengeful spirit of a cyberbullying victim who killed herself has come back from the grave to haunt those who wronged her.

I'll admit it.  I got scared.  I'm kind of a pansy like that.  You tell me there's an angry ghost and I'll start feeling skeeved out no matter how snotty I might act on my blog.  You throw a haunted mirror in the mix (of course there's a haunted mirror in a movie about the haunted Internet) and I'm barely going to be able to use the bathroom by myself.

So that means I found Unfriended to be a more effective horror movie than It Follows.  (Sigh. This is going to be used against me later, I just know it.)

Like other gimmick films such as Circle, there's a tremendous amount of creativity at play to keep that gimmick interesting, and I find that deeply commendable.  The ghost sends spooooky Facebook messages, spooooky emails, spoooooky Skype texts, and even forces the protagonist to listen to a spooooky play list on Spotify.  It's ridiculous enough that you can laugh about it later, but creepy enough in the moment to do the job - just like all the best horror.

Unfortunately, also like Circle, it seems like only the computer screen gimmick was given any major thought.  The characters suffer most of all, and as a result, I'm spending more time thinking about how much I hated them than I am thinking about how scary the movie was.

Unfriended takes place in one of those movie high schools where all the teenagers have free access to limitless booze, constantly have sex with all available partners, and elevate their relationships with each other to Life Mate status even though they realistically can only have been dating for, what, two years?  I just don't get it.  Movies like this make me feel like I must have lived the most sheltered life possible.

Where's the crippling social anxiety?  Where are the awkward sexual compulsions that manifest in unexpected and terrifying ways?  Is this just what life is like when you've got parents who can afford to give you a MacBook Pro and you don't have to worry about your future?

It's not just that the Unfriended kids act like they're in their mid-twenties - they act like demon spawn in their mid-twenties.  Even though the entire premise of the movie is that these kids are so psychotic they thought it would be funny somehow to tell a girl to kill herself, and then - surprise - she did, the movie somehow didn't think that was enough for you to loathe them.  So they make it worse: they joke about her death on the anniversary of her suicide, they yell at each other when anybody remotely suggests that joking about her death may be wrong, they bicker and whine and bitch and gossip... and that's just in the first ten minutes.

They manage to outdo their sociopathy in every scene until you can't wait for the ghost to clean up the gene pool and flush these turds right the fuck out.  It even gets so bad that one of them - and remember, these are supposed to be our heroes, the people we're afraid for - exasperatedly admits that he roofied a girl, raped her, impregnated her, and then forced her to get an abortion... and he's annoyed because it's an inconvenient time for them to talk about it.

(Side note - why does this guy get away with just being shot in the head?  You screwed up, movie.  This is the guy that's supposed to put his face into a blender. Along with other parts.)

Am I missing something?  Is this one of those social experiment movies where you're supposed to feel culpable in some part for the crimes depicted because your desire for the characters to die makes you just as bad as the villain?  Or do the cast and crew come from a new generation of assholes that's just utterly alien to me, but The Kids These Days would look at them and go, "Oh, they made a movie about Jeff?"

The scariest thing isn't that a ghost might haunt these kids from the grave - that just seems like justice.  The scariest thing is that these fuckers might actually be real.  Somebody please tell me they're off the mark.

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