UNFRIENDED: DARK WEB (2018) Reviews and overview

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‘Death wants some face time’
Unfriended: Dark Web is a 2018 American horror film written and directed by Stephen Susco (writer of The Grudge and its sequel); it is a sequel to Unfriended (2014) and was shot secretly and then announced by Jason Blum and shown at the SXSW festival on March 9, 2018.

The BH Tilt movie stars Colin Woodell, Betty Gabriel, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Andrew Lees, Conor del Rio, Stephanie Nogueras and Savira Windyani.

Unfriended: Dark Web was released theatrically on July 20, 2018. But like the movie Clue, with two different endings. The following video contains serious spoilers:

A twenty-something young man finds a cache of hidden files on his new laptop and is thrust into the deep waters of the dark web…

“This is a micro-budget, studio chiller, so don’t expect major, genre-bending twists. For that, wait until the next A24 movie. This is more low-key and mainstream, but as far as these types of movies go, Unfriended: Dark Web is pretty solid and worth checking out.” Arrow in the Head

” …if there’s a chilling topicality to a horror movie about hackers, Susco goes a bit overboard with the godlike powers of his keyboard bogeymen, who orchestrate an evil masterplan so outlandishly elaborate that even the most fervent of deep-state conspiracy loons will have to suspend their disbelief.” AV Club

” …the screenplay by director Stephen Susco (The Grudge) doesn’t generate sufficient suspense from its unseen villain while funneling toward a predictably ominous conclusion.” Cinemalogue

“The pure ridiculousness of the conceit may not work perfectly when balanced against the self-seriousness of the film’s message − namely, the internet is evil, and you are, too − but Susco’s creation is equal parts silly, terrifying and revolting. Like all the best horror movies.” The Glove and Mail

“Don’t go in expecting a masterpiece, but this is an improvement on the original in just about every way. Even the film’s inclusion of Card Against Humanity is slowly transformed from a “check out these dumb kids” affectation to a truly tense, effective story point. The internet is a scary place, and Dark Web uses just about every anxiety in that arsenal to bring horror where it hits closest to home.” GQ

“Even if some of the late-stage plotting seems sloppy and increasingly preposterous, there’s a callousness to the brutal last act that, together with the far patchier, yet similarly hard-edged First Purge, feels like a definite product of the time we’re in […] The iciness of the villains extends beyond digital spaces and into the real world, an inability to see people as anything more than avatars to troll, abuse and violate.” The Guardian

” …has the courage of its convictions to not cop out at the end. The only major drawback with this insidiously creepy sequel is the thematic similarities to a whole bunch of earlier American horror films, from Hostel III and The Den through to the more recent The Belko Experiment, which has a very similar final pull-back.” Horrorscreams Videovault

“What’s striking in this movie, apart from an ostentatiously glitchy screen distortion that occurs whenever a denizen of the “dark web” appears on one of the screens within screens, is how credibly its extreme trolling plays. (I admit I raised an eyebrow on noting that a couple of the film’s producers are Russian.)” The New York Times

“Director Stephen Susco, making his behind-the-camera debut after writing a bunch of exploitation film screenplays, does a workmanlike job of establishing the characters and situation and gradually ramping up the tension. Susco understands that the purpose of any horror film is to deliver shocks and suspense and he succeeds in that regard.” Reel Views

“Aside from the skilfully-realized, Haneke-esque creepiness of the cached (or should I say Caché’d?) videos Matias finds on his new acquisition’s hard drive, the terror here is largely conceptual, more in line with the paranoid, every-breath-you-take thrillers of the early 1970s than the grim, creeping catharsis of J-horror.” The Ringer

” … unbelievably stupid and sadistic. […] Unfriended: Dark Web stinks on a basic storytelling level, it’s impossible to take seriously as a low-brow cultural critique. In this film, our primary source of human contact is a group of cartoonishly naive Millennials. Is their blinkered naïveté supposed to reflect social media users’ deep-rooted alienation?” RogerEbert.com

Unfriended: Dark Web isn’t going to surprise you with its plotting or even its format. It looks like the first Unfriended. It goes in directions you’ve seen a dozen times before. But it’s nervy and vicious and built to send chills down your spine for a brisk 90 minutes. It certainly makes you want to put tape over your laptop camera.” /Film

” …Unfriended: Dark Web has enough snark, shock, and disregard for anyone’s emotional comfort to briefly confuse viewers into thinking it’s pulled off something worthwhile. But when it’s done, it’s easy to walk outside feeling like you’ve spent 90 minutes doing nothing at all.” The Verge

Unfriended: Dark Web, despite a mostly far-fetched, hacky, and — I suspect — wildly technically inaccurate script, is equipped to explore a lot of very real digital horrors most contemporary film can’t. Whereas the first film was a surprisingly effective formal exercise, Dark Web marries that form to an extremely real feeling of hopelessness that characterizes a not-small amount of our time spent online.” Vulture

Main cast and characters:
Colin Woodell … Matias O’Brien – Unsane
Betty Gabriel … Nari, one of Matias’ friends – Upgrade; Get Out; The Purge: Election Year
Rebecca Rittenhouse … Serena, one of Matias’ friends
Andrew Lees … Damon, one of Matias’ friends
Connor Del Rio … Aj, one of Matias’ friends, an internet personality and conspiracy theorist
Stephanie Nogueras … Amaya DeSoto, Matias’ girlfriend – Grimm
Savira Windyani … Lexx, one of Matias’ friends; a DJ
Chelsea Alden … Kelly, Amaya’s roommate
Douglas Tait … Charon IV
Rob Welsh … Charon V
Kiara Beltran … Charon VI
Bryan Adrian … Jack

Running time and aspect ratio:
1 hour 28 minutes
16:9 HD

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