The first Unfriended movie, released back in 2014, was nowhere as bad as you might initially expect. The webcam horror had some interesting ideas and some memorable moments garnering it a pretty decent score from us (read our review here). Unfortunately concepts like Unfriended wouldn’t take long to feel dated and to try and keep up this sequel decides to go over-board making it hilariously unbelievable.
Unfriended: Dark Web is very similar to its predecessor in that it entirely takes place through web chats, phone camera conversations, Skype and other online tools. So similar is it that telling the two apart is no easy task. The big difference here is that this is based in real world horror rather then the supernatural. Far less spooky and far less fun to watch.
You have to wonder why such a tech-savvy characters are so dumb a lot of the time? Is Unfriended: Dark Web poking fun at modern times where kids are able to use computers as if they’re an extension of their bodies but need to Google rudimentary things? Twice in the movie we see this (although Charon and trepanning aren’t that rudimentary as things go) and it feels so forced in.
There is little about Unfriended: Dark Web that doesn’t. Starting with the main character, Matias who finds a laptop and when Skyping with his forgettable friends makes some discoveries on it. All while trying to make up with his deaf girlfriend. Here’s an idea, if you want to apologise to your girlfriend maybe stop Skyping with your friends at the same time.
Anyway, Matias finds hidden folders and discovers videos of missing girls being murdered and tortured. He shows his friends and accordingly they decide to call the police. That is until the owner of the laptop gets in with the chat. Hiding his face and voice he demands his laptop back and if Matias won’t play ball, he will kill his girlfriend.
Matias is forced to pretend that it was all a prank. Then talk his girlfriend into coming to see him so the owner can follow. A simple trade, right? Her life for the laptop. Well, that is until he discovers a pathway into the ‘Dark Web’. Here he discovers this is more then a one-man gang.
It’s game night.
Unfriended: Dark Web is such a frustrating watch. It has moments that could be good but squanders them constantly. The style of filming is something I find I don’t mind too much but here there is so much going on constantly. Tiny messages on the screen, characters talking over each other and an obsession with showing just how clever it thinks it is.
The problem is that it becomes needlessly complex and far too unbelievable. It starts to get silly and very ham-fisted. The trip into the dark web is shown as a computer generated walk down a tunnel, torch included.
The needless exposition using Google (Wikipedia results, no less!), instant Facebook chat where the baddies messages come up in black with caps lock on and and a finale that involves Photoshop. It’s not very well done and you’ll be shaking your head regularly at the silliness of it all.
It would be nice to say that it pays off your investment but it doesn’t. Insipid characters and below par acting does little to endear you to anything.
Unfriended: Dark Web