This idea is driven home in "Unfriended," a new horror film that takes place entirely on someone's laptop. Through Skype conversations, imessages, and Facebook messages and profiles, we learn that one year ago to the date, Laura Barns committed suicide due to a video that popped up on Youtube with her displaying unbecoming acts of drunkenness titled "KILL YOURSELF LAURA BARNES." Six friends who are all connected to Laura find themselves being harassed by an unknown chatter who just may or may not be her ghost. As the night progresses, secrets will be spilled, confessions will be made, and people will die.
If you laughed at the last line I wrote, I will have to admit it was slightly intentional. You see, when you take away the computer aspect of "Unfriended," the basic plot is nothing original, following almost every horror cliche in the book. We have a group of teenage friends who are developed just enough for us to maybe care about them, but not enough for us to not want them to die. We have the mysterious killer who could be a ghost or perhaps someone playing a cruel joke. We have characters paying for mistakes they have made, even if not in the present day. There's nothing new about the film's story.
What is interesting is the way "Unfriended" takes the found footage genre to a whole new level by displaying the action and plot completely on a computer. The whole plot unfolds through messages sent to characters and Skype calls. Never once throughout the film does this concept feel forced. We really do feel like we are invading the privacy of six typical teenagers, like we are the computer hackers. It's pretty neat.
But is this film worth seeing in theaters? Nah. While it is unique, it never really is scary. Moments of suspense are brought on by the computer "glitching," which is unique, yet not always effective. It does make you stop and think about your own computer activity, but it's quickly forgettable. I would recommend waiting for this to come on Netflix and watching it on a laptop. That could make the viewing experience quite interesting.