In January this year, Channel 4 broadcast an amazing piece of television called ‘Cyberbully’.
It starred the talented Maisie Williams from ‘Game of Thrones’ and was without question one of the best bits of television of 2015.
‘Unfriended’ is very like ‘Cyberbully’ in that it looks society’s obsession with social media.
Directed by relative unknown, Levan Gabriadze, ‘Unfriended’ looks at what happens when one girl’s most embarrassing moment is videoed and posted on the Internet for all to see.
The girl in question becomes so traumatised by the ridicule she is forced to endure that she takes her own life.
A group of friends who use an online chat room to converse with one another soon discover that an apparent supernatural force is using the dead girl’s social media account to find out who posted the video.
‘Unfriended’ is perhaps one of the most unique and individual pieces of horror I have seen in quite a while.
The film is shot so that the audience see everything through from the computer screen. That means that we get to see every facial reaction, every tear and every moment of fear - it’s quite riveting.
The horror genre has being very gimmicky recently but with ‘Unfriended’, Levan Gabriadze has invented a gimmick and made a neat horror film at the same time.
It’s unfair to suggest that the film’s subject matter is sensationalised because these topics are extremely real and relevant to anyone who uses social media.
The headlines in the North of Ireland and all over the globe have been taken up by stories about young people who took their own lives because of cyber bullying therefore it’s important the issue is addressed and dealt with.
Gabriadze’s film ticks so many boxes. Not only is it entertaining but it is true to what makes horror a truly wonderful genre.
The film feels real and authentic and although it essentially exists as a piece of entertainment the way in which it is filmed gives it a chilling sense of authenticity.
One of the most interesting aspects of the film is that there is no official score. Instead the only music heard throughout is the music played by each of the young people who are in the chat room.
The similarities between ‘Unfriended’ and ‘Cyberbully’ are uncanny. Both pieces share the one uninterrupted shot through the screen of a computer and the hacker in both is faceless. However, it’s the penchant for the supernatural which is the movie’s undoing. It detracts from its sense of reality.
Anyone who uses Facebook to communicate with their friends and family should watch this film. It’ll certainly make you jump and make you think twice about accepting your next ‘friend’ request on Facebook.