When they presented the idea for the original Unfriended — a movie that takes place entirely on movie screens — we all thought it was pretty laughable. But you know what? It actually wasn’t bad. Rebecca liked it. I liked it. Kristy liked it. It was a ridiculous concept, but director Levan Gabriadze and screenwriter Nelson Greaves made it work. In fact, it earned $64 million worldwide, which isn’t bad for a movie that cost $1 million to produce.
Naturally, they brought it back for a sequel. But like with The Blair Witch Project, they basically got rid of the team responsible for the original, and here they brought in Stephen Susco (who wrote The Grudge) to write and direct.
When I saw the trailer pop up today, I thought, “Huh? Is this a second sequel, because I swear we already reviewed the first sequel here on Pajiba.” But no: Kristy’s review was of this movie, out of SXSW, and despite an affection for the original, Kristy was not kind:
Susco’s script completely abandons the supernatural element of the first film, and instead introduces a slasher/hacker who uses threats of offline violence to terrorize Matias and his friends. As soon as you’re introduced to the super nice lesbian couple (which includes Get Out’s Betty Gabriel in a frustratingly small role), you know that only misery will befall them. It’s not fun to wait for it. But worse yet, Unfriended: Dark Web decides to take a detour into rape culture and torture porn to get a rise out of its audience.
That’s basically telegraphed in the trailer itself:
Yeah, no. I mean: I’m gonna watch it because I see all the sh*tty horror flicks, but I ain’t gonna enjoy it.