Social media/found-footage tale following the same format as its surprise hit (tiny budgeted predecessor) has a millennial draw to it, but its ‘screenlife’ approach will even grow wearisome to them well before a mastermind hacker syndicate behind snuff films in a computer’s hidden folders begins to execute threats.
Unfriended: Dark Web has an unseen Matias, a wooden Colin Woodell, initially rebooting a pilfered laptop (not purchased from Craigslist) from a coffee shop with sensitive files on the hard drive trying to find passwords.
Through a video chat Matias tries to make amends with deaf girlfriend Amaya (Stephanie Nogueras) through a sign language app he’s formulated. But, when logging on with cohorts to play Cards Against Humanity and poking around the hard drive and Facebook accounts he ends up in hot water with ‘Charon’ the omniscient avatar of the owner of the laptop, going beyond foreboding chat messaging. That puts his posse at risk, not to mention Amaya.
The eponymous subtitle takes viewers into browser windows that cajole eeriness, as in the case of a shadowy presence, but in the context of the elaborations neophyte director and writer Stephen Susco (writer of The Grudge) doesn’t make technical trickery more compelling than manufactured gimmicky than increasing grows more preposterous. The casting isn’t able to do much in this application with the exception of a fashion-minded couple played by Betty Gabriel and Rebecca Rittenhouse, as Nari and Serena, respectively.
This latest Unfriended isn’t able to do nearly as effectively what it previously did through bullying and the supernatural to make its points topical to a degree (even if some may experience the deep admonitions when it comes to virus-like impact of interference). Being connected to viral, vicious happenings doesn’t ensure the intended chills that would be more palpable from the extensive use of one’s personal device.