Just watched this movie and I'd have to say - I'm pretty mixed about this movie. One moment, I had nothing but bad things to say and then another I just feel that the people working on this movie did pretty good with what they were given.
Also, the theme is cyber bullying and the effects it can have on not only the victims but also the tormentors responsible. It's a very serious issue today, and this film does a pretty good job representing the issue. (minus the supernatural antagonist added)
The premise of this movie seemed cliched to me, but later after watching the trailer back in 2014 (Was titled "Cybernatural" at the time) I had plenty of expectations for it.
The premise of this movie is Laura Barns, a teenager who was driven to suicide after a group of friends played a sadistic prank on her, and plenty of cyber-bullying is involved. One year later, the friends are confronted by a mysterious individual while video chatting, who is using Laura's account to get the attention of the teenagers. Thinking it is another sick prank, the hacker on Laura's account threatens to kill off anyone who leaves the video chat if they hang up. Whilst being terrorized by the ghost, there are some deadly secrets that the friends share that will break their friendships and reveal them as backstabbers.
It was a great idea that Nelson Greaves had developed, along with his other rewrites (look on the IMDB trivia section of the movie) and Timur Bekmambetov also had some creativity and serious thinking with developing this story. Sure, there was a moment where the movie felt like a knock-off of The Den (another movie with the same style as this movie, but actually more brutalizing) but the writer differentiated it around a little bit.
The story, while it had some flaws, such as Laura's backstory as a bully, with not too much detail about her past and what made her become a bully. and Laura and Blaire's history as childhood friends. I felt that they did okay with the subplots, but didn't reveal too much with these two stories.
The characters, while they were a bunch of arrogant and nasty assholes for what they did to Laura, I really felt sympathetic for Laura and one of the friends involved in the prank against Laura.
For instance, Mitch. Why? Because,near the end of the movie, Blaire screws Mitch over by "admitting" that he was the one who posted the video, but I completely remembered through the whole movie that it looked like he never did anything bad aside from having negative opinions of Laura, making out with her for a few seconds, and ratting out Adam for selling weed. What I'm saying here is that I interpret Mitch as being one of the innocent friends, since he didn't really post the video in my opinion.
The acting in this movie was between okay and good, with newcomers like Will Peltz and Moses Jacob Storm really giving out their emotions in the movie. Jacob Wysocki was really funny and gave comic relief at the right timing. Renee Olstead, Shelley Hennig, and Courtney Halverson were great as well, but I felt that Shelley's character was too whiny. Heather Sossaman is intimidating as Laura Barns, before and after she becomes a cyber ghost.
For the fantastic editing in the movie (glitches, visuals, etc.), please give the Editors an Oscar Nomination! Sure, it sounds exaggerated, but this is what a teen using a computer looks like - checking websites and going back and forth in checking their own personal applications and the way they chat. As for the Skype video chat, it was realistic, because if it was all based on keeping clear instead of having flaws, I'd question why they'd do it.
Leo Gabriadze does great in his directional debut, even when Shelly Hennig suggested that the whole movie be shot in one take without interruptions.
The suspense was okay, as some parts seemed predictable like hints of one of the characters about to be attacked.
Overall, the movie isn't so great, but it isn't so bad as well. It was actually entertaining for it's idea, the computer horror genre, and I would like to see what the people behind Unfriended will do with the sequel.