‘Like. Comment. Kill.’
Friend Request – aka Unfriend – is a 2016 English-language German supernatural horror film directed by Simon Verhoeven from a screenplay co-written with Matthew Ballen and Philip Koch. It stars Alycia Debnam-Carey, William Moseley and Connor Paolo.
The film is a German version of the 2014 American horror movie Unfriended, produced by Blumhouse.
Laura is one of the most popular students in college and enjoys her life and family. She is active on social networks and especially likes sharing things about herself with over 800 of her friends on Facebook.
One day, Laura receives a friend request from “Marina”, a girl she barely knows, but nevertheless accepts it and begins a relationship with the lonely girl online and outdoors. However, when Laura shares a picture of herself at her birthday dinner, the jealous and confused Marina angrily confronts Laura at college publicly before she is stopped by security and taken away, vowing revenge on Laura.
That night, Marina commits suicide via a live webcam video she sends to Laura due to the fact that Laura unfriended her off her Facebook page. Soon after, Laura finds herself stalked by Marina’s demonic spirit and threatening to make her “lonely” after taking over her Facebook page in order to remain friends… forever!
“Emoticons, iPhones and iPads are used to gimmicky effect in a horror which, despite its digital theme, feels distinctly dial-up … Unfortunately, atmosphere comes second to a succession of mutilated faces appearing on touchscreens, laptops and mobiles, all accompanied by gigantic booms on the soundtrack.” Daily Record
” … some of the imagery is nice, some of the deaths satisfyingly grisly. Marina’s artwork provides a few eerie animations which would have worked better in a more stylistic film than this, but they still breathe a bit of life into an otherwise fairly generic and loud jumpscare strewn mess. It will probably appeal to a younger crowd…” Samantha McLaren, Scream magazine
” …the focus on Friend Request’s Facebook-substitute already feels dated. Teens have moved on from Mark Zuckerberg’s creation and this feels a lot like an attempt by studio execs to relate to youngsters they’ve since lost touch with. Another bugbear proves the number of rather lascivious times in which the camera seems to focus on Carey’s (admittedly shapely) behind. It feels gratuitous and more than a little bit icky.” Steven Hickey, UK Horror Scene
“If Facebook had been removed from the plot entirely and the story focused more on the mental toll of losing all of your friends to a seemingly unstoppable supernatural force, this could have been a great little movie. Unfortunately that isn’t what we got. But even with its ludicrous premise I still think there is some merit here.” Daniel Hadley, Addicted to Horror Movies
“Despite Ahlers receiving a full body cast and learning to walk on stilts for the role, the full demonic version of Marina doesn’t get nearly enough screen time, which is unfortunate because previously released images from the film reveal one of the creepier practical makeup creations of the year. That being said, I still found Friend Request to be an altogether engaging horror film that kept me entertained…” Derek Anderson, Daily Dead
“Friend Request is less of a horror film and more a collection of tropes and clichés sellotaped and stitched together to create a Frankenstein’s monster of bad ideas you’ve seen done better in other films.” Tom Percival, Unilad
“There are flashes of inspiration here, such as repeated references to internet addiction (without any legitimate point, except that it literally will kill you), an unsettling and dynamic shot of rows of computer monitors illuminating a dark room with images of the face and eye of the spirit, and, most notably, a series of animations that tell the story of Marina’s lonely, unfortunate past without the witchy hokum.” Mark Dujsik, RogerEbert.com
“The (unintentionally) best moment in the film is when our resident hacker uncovers that dead girl’s Facebook page isn’t constructed with code at all! It’s supernatural spooky code! And it glows Matrixy green for some reason too! The second half just devolves into The Ring investigations.” Scariest Things
- Alycia Debnam-Carey
- William Moseley
- Connor Paolo
- Brit Morgan
- Brooke Markham
- Sean Marquette
- Liesl Ahlers
Cape Town, South Africa