Unfriended: Dark Web is a horror film and sequel to 2014’s Unfriended. However, it is a sequel in name alone: as none of the characters from the first film are revisited. The main similarity with the first film is its layout, with most of the film taking place online. This layout is initially jarring, but over time becomes more and more natural. The plot of this instalment centres around Matias, (Colin Woodell), as he starts using a strange laptop, he stole. Once, he begins using the laptop things quickly devolve, with him and his friends finding themselves in one of the darkest corners of the internet- thus beginning a life or death struggle.
Something that hugely benefits this film is the change in threat. Where the first film had a restless, malicious spirit seeking vengeance, this one has an altogether much more real menace. This menace is, of course, a group of depraved dark web dwellers, who hire people to slowly torture and kill, unsuspecting victims. This choice of focus makes the scares all the more terrifying: the fact that something like this could happen in real life makes the threat far more- intimate. This film didn’t make me scared in the traditional sense; instead, it made me anxious.
The anxiety of the film comes from the fear of what might happen to the characters. The film achieves an incredible task, it makes you care about the protagonists, all of whom are boring and in one case very annoying. The characters are the usual collection of stereotypes, and you’ll forget about them as soon as the credits roll. To call them bland would be an understatement, they are devoid of personality; with the character development being all but non-existent. The romance between Matias and Amaya, (Stephanie Nogueras), is well done to a degree and is convincing, though is still not all that memorable.
Finally, the film has two different endings, which I won’t spoil here, but I just wanted to make a note of it: because I think it is an ingenious move that makes this film unique.
Overall, the uneasy tension and the feeling of dread throughout makes up for the poor character work. A must see for all genre fans!
Reviewed by Luke