Runtime: 1h 23m
Director: Levan Gabriadze
Writer: Nelson Greaves
Stars: Heather Sossaman, Matthew Bohrer, Courtney Halverson
Initial: After watching Host (2020) and JeruZalem (2015), I figured I’d give this movie a try.
Production Notes: Filming included at least one 80-minute take with each actor in separate rooms and at separate computers.
What Did I Think:
There movies that beg to be seen in a theater. Lawrence of Arabia (1962), for example. Star Wars (1977). Anything that Roger Deakins has worked on. I can’t imagine anyone going out of their way to watch Unfriended on a big screen. That’s not a knock. Watching it on my desktop (which is where I watch nearly all of my movies/TV) was perfect. The conceit here is that we are experiencing the entire movie through Blaire’s desktop: her wallpaper in the background, all the apps she has open (Skype, Chrome, Spotify), all the tabs she has open and bookmarked. It’s a messier version of Host, which only focuses on our character’s Zoom call. Host, made and released in 2020, was destined to be watched on a computer and it works well there. Unfriended, released six years ago, had a theatrical release. It made $64M off a budget of $1M, which is decent horror movie money. To be fair, the trailer makes it look like it has more scope than it does, but I can’t imagine watching this movie, which involves a lot of chat apps, on a screen 30 ft wide and 10 ft tall (a small theater screen).
Is it a good movie? It’s…fine. I’m someone who will always be a bit creeped-out by the uncanniness lagging video, but Unfriended relies more on disconnects and bad internet than Host does. I guess that’s appropriate for the internet of 2014. I can’t say I liked any of the characters, which is also appropriate, though I envy Blaire’s typing speed. With less actual plot, I think Host is the more fun film.
One Last Off-Theme Horn Toot
Speaking of… “U” is also for Uncanny. Our Past in the Uncanny Valley is an anthology of classic short stories featuring automata, edited by me! It available for FREE on my website. Just click through for format options: Our Past in the Uncanny Valley.