Film Review: UNFRIENDED: DARK WEB (USA 2018) ***

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Unfriended: Dark Web Poster

A teen comes into possession of a new laptop and soon discovers that the previous owner is not only watching him, but will also do anything to get it back.


Stephen Susco


Stephen Susco


Writer/director Stephen Susco’s sequel to the laptop horror UNFRIENDED can hardly be called a sequel (note there is no number 2 tagged on to UNFRIENDED) as it is a stand-alone sequel with completely new characters and a totally fresh storyline.  The only similarity between the two films is that the films unfolds as if seen on a lap top.  So, expect to be watching a laptop screen for 90 minutes or so.  It is quite a torturous 90 minutes, which requires a lot of concentration to follow the story as one will be required to not only read the texts on screen but watch multiple goings-on as well as  group of friends communicate online via Skype.  UNFRIENDED: DARK WEB like the original UNFRIENDED is a clever novelty resulting in a tidy economically made film that caters to the new large target market of computer/lap tops users.  Who does not use a lap tip theses days?  The original film costs only $1 million to make and grossed more than $65 million.  Susco’s film, which contains a cast of unknowns teens took only a week to film.

The film opens with a user trying to get into a found lap top by trying different combinations of passwords.  Password, nope.  Password 123, nope.  After a dozen or so tries, ? works and Matias (Colin Woodell from UNSANE) gets into the used laptop.  He begins a game on Skype with his friends, computer-savvy Damon (Andrew Lees), Lexx (Savira Windyani), newly engaged couple Nari (Betty Gabriel from GET OUT) and Serena (Rebecca Rittenhouse) and Matias’ deaf girlfriend Amaya (Stephanie Nogueras). As the game night progresses, an intruder who calls himself Charon IV, begins sending messages to Matias, instructing him to return the laptop and keep his friends online.  The reason is that the lap top contains a list of crooked people as well as $10 million in crypto currency.  If he is unable to return the lap top, he will kill Amaya.

Despite the simple looking plot, the script is clever enough to include modern age technology like Skype, messaging, Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.  To those unfamiliar with computers, best advised be to avoid this film.  Political correctness in the film include having a lesbian couple in the story and a deaf character (played by Nogueras, herself a deaf actress).  Though UNFRIENDED: DARK WEB is a horror film, Susco’s horror film has neither blood or gore though the killing scenes are just as horrifying (pushing the victim on to a subway track upon an approaching train).

The film also contains two different endings.  Audiences will not know which cinema will be screen which ending and watching the film twice (the film is ok, but not really worth watching a second time) is still not guarantee of viewing both endings.  

It looks like Blumhouse has another low-budget horror winner.  How much money will this one make?



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