Unfriended

Unfriended ★★★★

Though it is never actually frightening, Unfriended is a ceaselessly entertaining, darkly funny horror film. Unlike some similar films of its ilk (like The Den), Unfriended understands its technology as an extension of character and vital piece of social interaction - and not just a magic, scary doohickey - that it able to garner legit tension through the interplay of computer programs. Like Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Pulse, this film is not about the horror of the internet, it's about the ability of technology to exacerbate the alienation and anger already hidden inside of humans.

Where Unfriended falters, then, is not in style, writing, or theme - it's in the actual 'horror' aspect of its chosen genre. While occasionally very funny on purpose, like in a brilliant game of 'Never Have I Ever', Unfriended drifts into the unintentional comedic game whenever it shows some blood. It tries to inject formulaic and traditional horror elements into a closed off stylistic exercise, and the mixture of juvenile gore and academia feels goofy. This juxtaposition culminates in a cheap ending that doesn't live up to the rest of the smartly done thrills.

Still, that's such a small price to pay for what is perhaps the horror film of our time. Not the scariest, not the best, but the one that will most work as a time capsule in years to come without losing its edge.

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