Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Thanks, Blaire. That must have been hard.

With the new kid that showed up weeks before we graduated (I think his name was Ivan), my graduating class was thirty three kids strong. And while I think that's generally considered a small senior class, I feel that it was typical in every other way. We had the attractive people, the locals, the nerds (back when that was sadly frowned upon), the drama kids, the jocks, the stoners and any other group you can dream up.

And when people didn't like each other, or had some major drama to deal with, we all handled it the same honrable way: we found some third-party, and we said some horrible shit. 

Maybe it would get back to them, maybe it wouldn't. It all kind of floated away after awhile, you know? I mean, it's not like we took our (likely temporary) hate, attached a picture of our own face...

...and made a f--king billboard out of it, for everyone to see. 

Unfriended, like many a horror movie before it, is a pretty straightforward revenge story. But instead of negligent camp counselors, kidnappers, or home-invading rapists, cool kids are the ones due for some bloody comeuppance. We've all seen the movie where the popular kids are going to get it, we've just never seen it like this.

While it's not quite first-person POV, Unfriended is presented in an impossibly straightforward style. The audience is shown one computer screen the entire duration of the film. No cuts, no thinly-veiled edits. Just the screen of a young girl's computer as she attempts a normal group chat with her friends. Or should I say...para...normal?

As you likely know, these pretty young things are in for it, as the ghost of a girl who recently committed suicide has returned to exact revenge. Initially, everyone thinks the mysterious comments and messages are someone playing a joke, but it doesn't take long before shit gets real.

Honestly, I had zero intention of ever seeing this movie, but after the projector broke during Avengers: Age of Ultron, my hand was forced. While I would have preferred seeing Hulk smash, I was super stoked to be in a theater where everything actually worked as it should (consider this when weighing my joy). Though it was a bit of kick in the nuts when the last trailer before Unfriended started was for motherf--king Age of Ultron...

Convincing representations of the subtleties of the human condition may have been in short supply, but overall I was pretty impressed with director Levan Gabriadze's foray into horror. For an 82-minute flick with a million dollar budget, Unfriended is, at least technically, very impressive. With the creepy events unfolding in real-time, I was engaged from start to finish. Sure, the film succumbs to four-fifths of all horror movie conventions (Annoying Fat Guy? Oh, he gon' die), but it sure is nice to see a Part One, you know? Here, even contrived things feel fresh.

Speaking of awful things we've seen too many times, here are the Yays and Boos. The fact that I almost pissed myself during this movie, oddly, is one of each.

  • Motherf--ker that was an intense opening. I'm still making sure the frank is above the beans and that happens? Holy shit, bro. Give a dude a minute, huh?
  • At one point the alleged hacker is called out for doing research on farts and boners. Sign me up for that study, asap. Providing, not...analyzing.
  • I didn't know anything about memorializing a Facebook account, but that scene was pretty f--king cool regardless.
  • Buffering, usually proof that Satan exists, is used so brilliantly here, it might prove the opposite.
  • That phone ringing on the table bit? I don't care if it's unintentionally hilarious...I loved it.
  • Where the f--k did that blender come from?
  • And finally, let me put my hands together for shit hitting the fan. The whole movie is kind of a steady barrel roll right down the shitter, but eventually it reaches a rather impressive level of madness. 
  • A real startling lack of Ultron, no?
  • When we were denied some early boobage, I chalked it up to the fact that this movie was probably PG-13. Um, it f--king wasn't.
  • Who keeps a butcher knife next to their computer? I mean, besides anyone reading Two Dollar Cinema...
  • You know what, Val? You's a real bitch. Honestly, Jess too. And Blaire? Well...
  • Considering how most teenagers react the slightest semblance of conflict like it's truly the f--king end of humanity, these kids are pretty f--king relaxed about 99% of what happens.
  • But don't cheat on any of them okay? 'Cause then it's time to FREAK THE F--K OUT!
  • C'mon. Who shits their pants anymore?
  • Everybody in the Random Chat can eat shit and die. Honestly. Someone send them a YouTube link to that video from The Ring, asap.
  • And finally, does anyone have a f--king parent? Damn near every one of these f--kers has a total psychotic meltdown and not one time do we hear a random keep it down up there! Damn. When I was in high school, my TV was too loud before I plugged it in.

Only because I'm not entirely stupid, can I understand how people will willingly sign their name to vitriolic bullshit. It's bad enough that teenagers (and adults, to an extent) give a f--k about what others think about them in the first place, but allowing someone to ruin your life from a hotspot is beyond me.

Oh shit.

I'm doing that right now, huh?


  1. Sorry to hear about what happened with Avengers, but at least this was solid. And yeah, I used to get "What the hell is going on up there?" when I walked across the room.

    1. Yeah, it's kind of a bummer, as you (may) know, getting the ol' green light for the cinema ain't exactly the easiest thing in the world sometimes.

      Ha. My parents generally didn't give a shit about anything...other than noise. If we were quietly being murdered by e-ghosts, well, that wouldn't have been a problem.

  2. Ah, that sucks the the projector broke, but I'm glad you had a good time with this. I saw the trailer on It Follows and it looked kind of awful, I'm glad to hear it's better.

    1. This movie probably is awful, but I was so happy to be in a functional room, I just went for it. The acting is pretty cringe-worthy at times, but on a technical level, I think it's impressive regardless.

      I really, reallllllllly want to see It Follows. (and I don't know shit about it)

  3. I really want to see this. So, shit literally hits the fan.

    And...I live in a house where people are shitting their pants all day long.


    1. Dude. I know you can find eighty minutes to check this one out, but I'm guessing you'd probably hate it. Way too lowbrow for your tastes. (heh heh)

      Hey. You and I both know, SHIT IS NO JOKE.

  4. Huh. This is an interesting premise. I am shocked by the hateful, vitriolic bullshit kids (and adults) say to each other online. Both my teens have fallen victim to it. My son runs across these nuts on the internet who threatened to track him down IRL and kill him -- because he beat them in a video game. I weep for humanity.

    1. The opening is awful in how realistic it could be. These kids (our kids) are growing up so detached from reality, I swear they think seeing it/saying it online makes it all okay. I don't want to even imagine the long-term ramifications of growing up like this. At least we had time before screen, you know?

      As for what you said about your son, as just terrible as that is, it's hardly even shocking. And that makes it worse.

  5. I really want to see this one. I'm always in for idiots getting slaughtered on screen

    1. Was that the original title of this one, :"Idiots Getting Slaughtered on Screen"? Because that would have been fitting. Even the Smart Girl in this one does some dumb shit (they all do, really).

      Even though I enjoyed it, not sure I'd recommend it, but, as I often's really f--king short, so why not?

  6. Love this review. Man, that Laura video was fuuucked up. All these young actors really brought it. I was convinced throughout. Even more impressive, apparently they filmed the entire movie, live, in one take, a bunch of times over the course of a week. And all of the actors were actually in the same house when they shot it. I love that shit.

    1. Haha. Thanks for reading it. I appreciate that. I almost shit my pants when I saw that you watched this one.

      I agree, for relative unknowns, these kids delivered. And that guerrilla-style shoot that you mention. That, HANDS DOWN, makes this movie even better. A tip of the cap to everyone involved. Ingenuity it highly appreciated around these parts, even if I keep doing the same stuff over and over myself.

      Ugh. That's so badass.