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Film Review: Unfriended: Dark Web (2018)

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SYNOPSIS:

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.

REVIEW:

I was extremely underwhelmed with Unfriended (2014), the first film in this series. The first film as well as the sequel Unfriended: Dark Web (2018), were directed by Stephen Susco. I felt like Unfriended was a movie I could have made for free using Skype and a few of my friends, so it just didn’t impress me at all as a horror film.  Fortunately, the sequel Unfriended: Dark Web, is a much stronger film with a very intriguing story that is well executed, has a strong cast, and it is truly scary.

College student Matias (Colin Woodell) is in love with Amaya (Stephanie Nogueras), who happens to be deaf. He has been hesitant to learn sign language, so he develops a software program that will allow him to communicate with Amaya. She isn’t happy about the fact he has put off learning sign language and they have an argument while talking on Skype. That night, Matias and his friends Nari (Betty Gabriel), Serena (Rebecca Rittenhouse), Damon (Andrew Lees), AJ (Connor Del Rio), and Lexx (Savira Windyani) get together on Skype for their weekly game of Cards Against Humanity. Amaya is supposed to join them, but is running late. Matias hasn’t told his friends that he found a computer at a coffee shop that day or that he is using the computer to chat with them.

While talking with his friends on Skype, Matias is also browsing through the information on the computer he found, including logging into the owner’s Facebook page. He ends up chatting with one of the owner’s friends and begins to realize something is not right about the computer’s owner. He simultaneously receives another Facebook message from a user named Charon who has a mysterious job offer for him. This leads him to look at the files on the computer and while doing that he finds a file containing short videos of random people unknowingly being filmed by a web cam. Matias’ friends realize that something is up and he tells them about finding the computer and also shares the videos with them. They eventually find videos that appear to show people being killed in horrible ways.

When the first person Matias has been chatting with on the owner’s Facebook begins accusing him of stealing the computer and Charon is also becoming suspicious of him, Matias opens a file that takes him into the dark web. He asks his friend AJ for advice, since he’s computer savvy. He finds himself on a site called The River where Charon is asking for confirmation that he will accept the job as well as a payment of ten million dollars to be paid in bitcoin. He maneuvers through the dark web with AJ’s help and at the same time, the shadowy owner of the computer seems to be hacking all of their computers and begins sending threatening messages to him.

The owner of the computer says he will kill Amaya if the computer isn’t returned immediately, but oddly helps Matias by giving him the password to complete the transaction with Charon on The River. Matias realizes that the job he is being paid for will actually require him to kill someone. Unlike the first film Unfriended, the performances are believable and Unfriended: Dark Web takes you inside the story and makes you feel like you are part of what is happening on the screen.

When one of Matias’ friends disappears and is then shown on video being pushed off a building and falling to their death, it becomes clear that Charon is more than one person and they are playing a sick game with Matias and his friends. In fact, there are thousands of Charon and they are all over the world watching everything and everyone.

With a believable concept that is told in a personal and terrifying way, Unfriended: Dark Web is a solid and very scary horror film.

Unfriended: Dark Web – 4 out of 5 Skulls

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