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Gavin Gaddis

Watching ‘Unfriended’ is like spending an hour watching an idiot live-stream their desktop, except five other idiots die during the process.

‘Unfriended’ has a magnificent horror movie concept at its core, a scary movie for the 21st century: A girl is shamed into suicide. One year later six people who all have a hand in her shaming are in a Skype call when her ghost breaks into the chat and forces them to confess their sins upon pain of death.

Literally the entire film is witnessed through a live view of a Macbook Pro’s desktop. When the movie begins, the audience is shown what an out-of-touch male thinks a teenage girls’ desktop would look like: icons of software installed at the factory, random “school” related items and poorly-organized pictures.

Which might have helped the situation if all of the actors we’re asked to believe are seniors in high school all appear to be pushing 30 (because they are).

The most important aspect of a film that is shown entirely through a computer’s desktop is how the person operating the desktop operates the computer. The owner of this Macbook, Blaire (Heather Sossaman), uses hers as if she is aware the audience is watching her.

Her cursor traces out important details, highlight relevant text, and she uses her mouse to perform every single task. Blaire is unaware keyboard shortcut exists, apparently, as she fails to use a single one throughout the film’s short runtime.

A running thread in poorly made films is a lack of consistency, which punishes viewers who actually pay attention to what is happening on screen.

Blaire fails to capitalize a single letter throughout the entire movie, while also inserting dozens of question marks, exclamation marks and extra instances of the letter ‘s.’ Her typing style is akin to what I would get if I asked an out-of-the-loop older person who tries to text.

Blaire also uses Chrome. This means she had to download, install and set up a new browser on her Macbook Pro. She changed the default browser to one made by Google, but also made her default search engine Yahoo.

Why?

Her bookmark bar is an orgy of evidence that companies affiliated with Universal Studios wanted product placement. I can forgive a bookmark of Forever 21, but I cannot understand why Blaire –arguably the kind of person who would use Tumblr constantly- has the login page for Tumblr bookmarked and not the actual front page of Tumblr.

Each character who dies, in slasher film fashion, has committed some sin or personally wronged the ghost during her life. Except for one, whose only sin seems to have been smoking an e-cigarette (Hollywood’s new favorite way of identifying “this character is an ass”), taking one hit of marijuana and voicing a negative opinion of the dead girl.

There is no moral twist to how the characters die, only the specter of the possibility that they might have in earlier drafts of the script.

‘Unfriended’ is a wonderful movie to watch with a bunch of friends who enjoy making fun of bad horror movies.

I would suggest creating a drinking game where someone takes a drink every time the movie attempts to appropriate internet culture – such as the ghost generating meme images – but one might become seriously ill before the halfway mark.