Unfriended ( 2015 ) – Negative Effects of Cyber Bullying

Unfriended ( 2015 ) - Negative Effects of Cyber Bullying

So I finally managed to watch this ‘much talked about’ offering from my sickbed over the weekend. Unfortunately, I could not face sitting in front of the laptop to write this review until today ( yeah, I’m still one of the infected! ).

Unfriended is a Found Footage effort that bases itself around the negative effects of cyber bullying. There was a huge amount of hype surrounding it before it’s release which is pretty strange for the Found Footage genre.

I was looking forward to watching it but I still wasn’t expecting much – I’ve been burnt before by lame ass Paranormal Activity sequels and I had the feeling this would be another disappointment.

So, did it live up to the hype…

Hell Yeah! 

That’s as basic as I could be with the answer really – this was an excellent Found Footage offering that managed to tick just about every box available.

I was a little worried we would slip too far down the Collingswood Story route –  a decent film but for long periods I felt it needed to step away from the webcam.

Unfriended managed to sidestep this feeling completely and even got to the point where you near enough ignore the Skype/webcam aspect.

It didn’t dwell, it didn’t lag and managed to keep me thoroughly engrossed from start to finish.

The Plot

The story opens up with us watching a teenage girl named Blaire ( Shelley Hennig ) clicking her way around her PC screen ( actually I think it was a Mac – but you get the idea! ).

Her initial surfing seems to be centered around a school friend who committed suicide after humiliating drunken footage goes viral at her school.

After a short introduction to this tragedy we are then joined by Blaire’s friends in a Skype chat situation – Jess ( Renee Olstead ), Adam ( Will Peltz ), Val ( Courtney Halverson ), and Ken ( Jacob Wysocki ).

As we slowly get to know the characters on screen we also notice a vacant avatar box in the corner of their chat screen. It’s passed over as a glitch to begin with but before long our teenage gang start to take a bit more notice of it’s spooky silence.

It doesn’t stay silent for long…


The directors of this film have made a big effort to highlight a teenage society that is overly-connected by social media. At the same time they have managed to weave in a pretty basic horror revenge story that works on just about every level.

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not a fan of teenage movies and I don’t particularly like sitting down and listening to their Skype conversations.

But this film managed to cross the divide between teenage horror fans and the more ‘matured’ horror fans.

Sure the characters were pretty irritating and I’d happily smack a few of them around the face but they have to be this way. Their unlikable teenage flaws are soon pushed out of the way by the vicious game of self-preservation they are made to endure.


Very nicely done – this could of turned out to be 70 odd minutes of complete teenage gash instead of a satisfyingly creepy cyber horror.

I liked the way the scare scenes were pretty original in their delivery – it seemed as if the makers had gone through a trial and error process on what would freak you out and what wouldn’t.

A lot of big budget Found Footage efforts jump on the CGI bandwagon these days but they opted to avoid this with Unfriended. The effects were practical and therefore took a lot more effort and natural timing.

In one scene the group are simply talking to one of their female members that won’t break eye contact with the screen. She simply sits their staring blankly leaving them to try and figure out if her connection has lagged.

This doesn’t sound like much through my explanation here but believe me – it was an excellent lingering shot that really manages to creep the viewer out.

I think the keyword to this film is ‘effort’ – they made an effort to make every aspect of it work and flow naturally as an experience.

I felt totally immersed in Blaire’s computer screen and at times I even forgot it was actually a webcam film!

There will probably be a few unsatisfied reviews out there but I urge you to ignore them. If you like Found Footage you will like this – period!

Well worth watching.




  1. As usual, i totally agree with you! I was very impressed with this… Having Collingswood Story and The Den as references in webcam found footage horror, i think this one reached the top, very good indeed

    • Yep, I was caught off guard by this one – I expected an MTV age teenage-fest but it turned out to be something very different. Enjoyed just about every minute of it!

      • I was hoping to see this in theaters but plans changed. I went to YouTube one day a few months ago and saw this trailer being advertised and checked it out. I was initially interested by this fresh new take on Triple F’s (my nickname for found footage films) and yeah. When it came On Demand I got really excited, my chance to see it and for only 5 bucks! I bought and it did not disappoint! As soon as we see Blaire beginning to look up on Laura’s death I was soon glued to the screen. Although it started with everyone yapping about some theatre outing, I waited eagerly for the empty avatar to become activated. When it did, things got good. I liked how the movie didn’t need to rely so much on jumpscares too. The only jump-scare that got me was when Val’s screen unfroze. I think the fact that Laura made everyone reveal their darkest secrets to each other with Never Have I Ever was creepy enough (btw I hope that’s not a big spoiler!) and boy, did I find it all believable! I felt the kids’ panic, fear, and anger through the movie (especially Adam, wow was he emotional!). Great movie I suggest it!

        Also Chris, you inspire me. I hoping to do movie reviews in the future since I’ve seen so many movies (going to the theater is a regular thing for me now). I love reading your Triple F reviews and some I certainly want to check out and some I understand to never lay my eyes upon. You are great and I’m a big fan of your work 🙂

        • Hello again Christine ( I had a contact message off you the other day didn’t I? )
          Glad to hear you like the site so much! Also glad you agree with the review – loved the film myself 🙂

          • I’m glad you appreciate it! BTW just saw The Visit and it was not bad (for a MNS movie). It did make me think of Paranormal Activity (consider who helped him make it) in terms of its build-up especially. i recommend it, not a bad film and interesting twist.

          • The Visit rings a bell – I’ll have to look into that again but I’m sure I’ve seen it…

  2. Oh my gawd, what if ‘The Gallows’ turns out to be good as well! Great review, totally agree.

    • Yeah, looking forward to that little beauty myself Modji – I’m hearing good things about it…

  3. Finally got to see this one myself recently and it must be the most hyped FF movie since Paranormal for sure. Still, it doesn’t matter when it delivers to such a degree that Unfriended actually does. If I had to put my finger on something I would say that the ending was a bit of a cliche, yet it works pretty good with the build up and everything so this is just nitpicking on my part. At 40 I may also be slightly older than the target audience here.

    • I just turned 40 myself John ( June the 12th! ). I was a little worried that the whole thing was going to be a bit too teenage for my tastes but they managed to step over that feeling quite well didn’t they?

  4. I can’t believe I watched over an hour of teens chatting over skype; The Den is way better and at least there are adult in it/ this is what’s all about. There are like a handful of cheap scares and a lot of teen bollocks. Don’t watch it. Go walk your pet.

    • OK…don’t really know how to respond to that Gino LOL. Well, films are subjective as well as objective so everyone’s going to have their own opinion 🙂

  5. Sorry I’ve been really harsh on this one leaving no room for discussion I give you that 🙂 ok I’ve just noticed you cover the Den I was going to ask your opinion on that one

    • No problems Gino – opinions are opinions ( and that’s why the comment section is here! ) 🙂

  6. Did you watch the episode “Lost Connection” on Modern Family? It takes place entirely on a computer screen, just like Unfriended.

    • I haven’t actually Rosemarie! That sounds pretty interesting ( I am a fan of the show already! ) 🙂

  7. Watched Unfriended tonight and enjoyed it. Very well thought out and very well put together. The acting was better than I’d dared hope for too! It put me in mind of a cyber version of Saw in some ways (Billy/Bille227, “Let’s play a game…”?). As for the ending, I know opinion is split but I loved it. Wonder if we’ll get a sequel? It’s the sort of thing I could see becoming a franchise…

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