Starring: Colin Woodell, Stephanie Nogueras, Andrew Lees
Director: Stephen Susco
Running Time: 94 mins
Unfriended: Dark Web is an American film and the sequel to Unfriended. After getting a new laptop, Matias finds a strange collection of files and traces of the former owner, leading him down a rabbit hole with deadly consequences for himself and his group of friends on Skype.
As ridiculous and contrived as it may have seemed from the cheesy trailers and gimmicky premise, I absolutely loved the first Unfriended, and I’m delighted to report that its sequel hits almost all the same beats pretty much perfectly once again. Yet another devilishly exciting and cleverly structured thriller, Unfriended: Dark Web hooks you brilliantly right from the off, and while it may not shock and scare you as it may intend, the film’s ludicrous, rapid-fire antics make for undeniably great entertainment throughout.
Let’s start off on that very point, because if you’re looking for a genuinely disturbing, chilling horror movie, then Unfriended: Dark Web, much like its predecessor, isn’t for you. However, for a fun-filled horror extravaganza that combines ridiculous teenage thrills with the odd bit of genuinely engaging storytelling, the film fits the bill perfectly, leaving me laughing and smiling at its purely insane twists and turns throughout.
Now, what’s important to be clear about here is that this isn’t a so-bad-it’s-good movie. Of course, its relative lack of real depth means it doesn’t deserve to be put in the all-time classics bracket, but there is real talent and ingenuity on display here, and the film’s funnier qualities simply come from its gleefully insane brand of horror, rather than being laughably bad in any way.
As I mentioned when I talked about the first Unfriended, the computer screen found footage concept may seem gimmicky at first, but with a story such as this, it actually brings what is normally a fairly ludicrous slasher premise into a more relatable and real context, impressively using the tropes and unknowns of the internet and the mystery of the dark web to craft a surprisingly convincing and thoroughly entertaining story.
Having said that, Dark Web doesn’t always use its desktop screen setting to the same claustrophobic effect as the first Unfriended, and while it is certainly telling a different story, there is an element of tension and fear that’s lost when you don’t have that atmosphere of inescapable peril, with the best of the excitement here coming from just how far the film is willing to push the myths and eerie mysteries of the dark web.
However, the plot here does still have some really great twists and turns to keep you engaged and excited, and in comparison to the most generic slasher movies which just see one character after another randomly disappear, this film brings in intrigue and danger from a number of fronts. It may not be the most frightening story ever put to screen, but it is more than enough to keep you engaged and entertained right the way through.
Overall, then, I had great fun with Unfriended: Dark Web. A more than solid follow-up to one of my all-time favourite guilty pleasures, the film is filled with ludicrous twists and turns, a rapid-paced and dynamic brand of horror, and even a well-written, engaging plot throughout, all of which is why I’m giving it a 7.7.