‘Revenge comes online’

Who knew Skype could be so creepy?

Laura Barnes was your average american teenage girl, until a video posted of her online ended her life. Unfriended is Universal Pictures latest film, described as ‘Ushering in a new era of horror’. A story unfolds as a group of 6 friends receive Skype and Facebook messages from ‘billie227’ on the anniversary of their classmate’s suicide, leading them into a night of terror.

 Cybernatural (2014) on IMDb

What makes Unfriended so different?

‘A Blair Witch for the broadband era’ -The Guardian

The whole of Unfriended is shown from a computer screen. You literally spend the whole hour and 22 minutes of the film watching a desktop as if you were protagonist Blaire, monitoring her computer activity and nosing in on what she’s up to. Staring at a computer screen on the big screen may sound kinda boring at first, but it’s actually quite engaging. Seeing what messages she sends and receives, even before things start getting creepy, really taps into that nosey side we all have..and trust me when I say that things only get more interesting as the film goes on.

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‘Hands up guys, who’s doing this?’

Social Media is everywhere

For me, Unfriended was an insight into how big social media really is. The film was made on an estimated budget of $1million, and brought in $15,845,115 on opening weekend in the US alone. Not bad right? But for such a low budget film without an all-star cast, what was it about Unfriended that drove so much attention? Personally, I think it was the references to and theme of social media platforms. One of the things that makes horror films so scary is our ability to relate to the scenes in them and make them seem that little bit more real, like what we are seeing could actually happen to us. We pretty much all use Facebook and at least own a Skype account, don’t we? And hey, Unfriend was the Oxford word of the year in 2009! Just don’t accept any friend requests from Laura Barnes..

How did the internet react?

The internet actually went a bit crazy for the Unfriended before it was even released. Being on a low budget, the Unfriended promo team cleverly used social media to promote the film, seeing as social media is the place where the film takes place. Across social media platforms (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), Unfriended engaged up to 44 Million people. RelishMix, who track social media stats claim that  Unfriended content landed 32M YouTube views including parodies and reviews. In addition to this, the Unfriended instagram account has 24k followers, and let’s not forget their Twitter account with a following of 51.7k people..

I think it’s fair to say, people were pretty freaked out. Looks like Skype may have lost a lot of users since the release of the film..

So, when are we gonna get a movie about SEO and PPC?

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‘The most un-terrifying horror ever. BEWARE, you will fall asleep in boredom.’

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Chloe was previously a Social media Apprentice at Silkstream.

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