‘Unfriended’ Trailer: The Ghost in the Social Media Machine
The advent of new technology has effectively killed so many old school horror cliches (it’s not easy to get lost in the woods when you have a tiny computer for a phone) that filmmakers working within the genre often have to work overtime to invent brand new cliches that complement the age of the iPhone. The ‘Unfriended’ trailer represents a movie that has clearly gotten the memo but decided to take things to the extreme. This isn’t just a horror movie that features all of the social networks and online tools you use on a regular basis, it’s a horror movie about those things. Dun, dun, duuuun!
The chief gimmick here is that he entire movie is told through a group Skype chat between a group of douchey teens who find themselves menaced by a mysterious presence demanding revenge. And who could blame this potentially supernatural, social media-wielding entity? One of these jerks posted a humiliating video of a girl to YouTube a few years back, leading to her suicide. So, of course they need to die horrible and humiliating deaths one-by-one while all of their friends are forced to watch from a video chat they cannot leave under the threat of their own vicious demise.
Although this is a unique format for a horror movie, it’s not a first. A segment in the horror anthology ‘V/H/S/’ was told entirely in a Skype chat and last year’s ‘Open Windows’ took place entirely on a computer screen. Still, ‘Unfriended’ represents this wacky, social media-driven extension of found footage attempting a leap into the actual mainstream. This is a horror movie that actually looks like it could play to a large audience of screaming, texting, YouTubing, Snapchatting young people. For those of us who track the shifting styles of horror with great fascination, this thing is a definite curiosity.
Oh, and this is really important: the original title for ‘Unfriended’ was ‘Cybernatural,’ which is a title that is somehow infinitely better while being infinitely worse. That change was a mistake!
Here’s the official synopsis:
Six high school friends with a dark secret receive a Skype message from a classmate who committed suicide a year ago after someone uploaded a video of her online.
‘Unfriended’ is set to murder you through your computer on April 17.