Unfriended (2015)

Unfriended (2015)Whether it be from laziness, business, or just nothing being out there to see, I had not found cause to visit a movie theater in some time. I still didn’t really thing there was much driving need to go to the movies, but I went anyway. The first movie I saw was a movie with a trailer that caught my attention, but with a title so bad I almost talked myself out of seeing it. Let’s see how the movie faired when I review Unfriended, written by Nelson Greaves, directed by Levan Gabriadze, and starring Shelley Hennig, Heather Sossaman, Moses Storm, Renee Olstead, Will Peltz, Jacob Wysocki, and Courtney Halverson.

Blaire (Shelley Hennig), Mitch (Moses Storm), Jess (Renee Olstead), Adam (Will Peltz), and Ken (Jacob Sysocki get together on Skype on the anniversary of the suicide of their friend Laura (Heather Sossaman), who shot herself after an embarrassing video of her showed up on YouTube. When they all get on Skype together, another profile mysteriously appears and they can’t figure out how to remove it. Then they all start having other computer problems. And then they have living problems.

The first thing about this movie that needs be said is that the name is absolutely awful. It’s a fake word that stupid people use to describe a process they think someone else will give a shit about. But once you get over that the movie is pretty solid. It’s inventive in its scares and it’s a gimmick I haven’t seen in a horror movie before. We’ve seen shades of such things in movies like Paranormal Activity, but not exactly movies that happen entirely through the computer and using things most people use on a daily basis, like Apple Messenger, Skype, and Facebook. Of course, old people might not understand anything about what’s going on in the movie because of said gimmick. And other parts of it might just flat out annoy the people that do use this technology with things that we hate, such as pixelating video calls, disconnections, and YouTube commenters. And it’s also really annoying watching this girl do multiple drafts on the same message, although I did like when they revealed some information in there, like the stuff about Laura’s uncle. I would also say that we REALLY don’t need to watch the entire process of reporting an account on Facebook, though I do feel like I’m an expert in it if it ever comes up for me.

The movie also has a pretty clear message about cyber bullying. The girl kills herself because her shitty friends harassed her because of the video online about her, but I don’t know if I agree with its message. Okay, the girl killed herself and that’s sad, but that was about her. I’m sure most people have been cyber bullied and not killed themselves because of it. Cyber bullies don’t really need to die for what they did. I would’ve settled for public humiliation more like what Laura got. Eye for an eye, so to speak. So I guess what I’m saying is don’t cyber bully, don’t kill yourself because of it, and probably don’t kill anyone else. Especially if you already killed yourself. And also, if revenge was Laura’s purpose, why was her scope so narrow? During the course of the movie, embarrassing things are posted about the people in the group on the internet and all their shitty Facebook friends make jokes about them, just as they probably did to Laura. Then when proof of the group’s shitty behavior is posted by Laura, their friends also tell them they’re the worst people in the world and that they should kill themselves, just like what happened to Laura. Laura really should have a lot more people to kill on Facebook than just these 6. If only 6 people were teasing her then she really overreacted, otherwise these people are still saying shitty things on the internet, so they’re not showing any signs of changing. Also, this whole thing could be avoided if you just don’t go to parties and drink when you’re underage until you pass out and shit yourself. Live with your choices, bitch. …Well, I guess you can’t anymore, but still!

They did use the computer stuff for some interesting and innovative scares though. It didn’t always make sense, but I understood their reasoning for it. Like I understand wanting to build tension before a big reveal, but I also know that no one has a computer that takes a minute to download a JPEG. My cell phone can do it faster with one bar. I also thought it was interesting how they set up some of the deaths. Like why does this person have a random ass knife in his bedroom? So he can kill himself with it later. They also set up how that Ken guy dies, but not how I expected. I thought it would be the super random pitchfork he had behind him in the room that seemed to just be a pile of garbage and his computer, but the pitchfork was just there for no reason.

The performances in the movie were all pretty good, but most of it was probably alternating between “Act like yourself in high school” and “Act like you’re terrified.” But they did that well. I guess I had two problems with the cast. The first is that there wasn’t much going on that made it so I could tell these girls apart. There was the blonde one, and then there was Blaire, Val, and Laura. And when I saw any of them in video, I couldn’t tell which one I was watching. I couldn’t tell who was the girl threatening to fight the other girl in the video and who was shitting all over themselves. It turned out it was one of the brunettes. The second problem was that it was hard to feel bad for these people since they were all shitty people. I still don’t think they deserved to die for what they did, but I’m certainly not going to be upset about it. Also, it was a movie. I think those people are all still alive.

It is my recommendation that you do your best to ignore the name of this movie and still see it. It choose a gimmick and sticks to it hard and, while it can get annoying at times, it does a lot of things that worked very well, and things I hadn’t seen before. And the cast did a pretty good job, but if one of them did exceptionally or terribly, I couldn’t be able to mention it because I couldn’t tell the women apart. Go check out this movie. It’s probably better than you’ll expect based on the name.

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Ouija (2014)

The Battleship of Horror Movies

Ouija (2014)I don’t know if I’ve just stopped paying attention or if some movies just don’t cross my path, but I’ve recently been coming across a lot of movies I had never heard about until it releases and then the movie blows up on social media. That was the case with today’s movie. I had no idea this movie existed until my friend Kori requested it. Since it was a horror movie, I figured it was a good enough way to end the October Horrorthon, so I got my tickets and sat down to watch Ouija, written by Juliet Snowden, co-written and directed by Stiles White, and starring Olivia Cooke, Shelley Hennig, Daren Kagasoff, Ana Coto, Douglas Smith, and Lin Shaye.

Longtime friends Laine Morris (Olivia Cooke) and Debbie Galardi (Shelley Hennig) start experimenting with a Ouija board at a young age. In their teens, Debbie starts acting weird. And by weird, I mean she kills herself via hanging. In Debbie’s room, Laine finds a very old Ouija board and collects her boyfriend Trevor (Daren Kagasoff), her sister Sarah (Ana Coto), and Debbie’s boyfriend Pete (Douglas Smith) and tries to contact Debbie. Turns out that was a bad idea. Then bad stuff happens and they go visit Paulina (Lin Shaye) in an asylum.

This review has been spoiled for some that paid enough attention on my Facebook page to see me call this movie “garbage.” Given some time removed from it, my opinion has softened into “crap.” It’s not the worst movie I’ve ever seen by far, but it’s very boring and entirely unoriginal. And the unoriginal part is not entirely unexpected from a horror movie as they often follow a fairly typical format, but some can redeem themselves with some suspense and scares. This movie didn’t do that either. And it wasn’t particularly well written either, not that you’d expect it to be with the other precedence of movies based on board games, like Battleship. In the very beginning of the movie, Debbie kills herself by hanging herself with Christmas lights and yet no one tried to cheer anyone up by saying, “Yes, she’s dead … but it was SUPER festive!” Later, when they all go to Debbie’s house to try to contact her, they all act surprised that Debbie’s boyfriend is already there, as if he wasn’t supposed to be there. Really? He should’ve been the first person you dragged along on this. Not your own boyfriend with no real connection to Debbie, not your sister with no real connection to Debbie, but her boyfriend. It at least warrants an invite. And then when they actually do “contact Debbie,” the spirit they’re talking with identifies itself only as “D,” which shows the fatal flaw in the characters that none of them know a single other name that starts with a D than Debbie, so obviously it must be her, suspiciously not fully identifying herself for some reason. And they still believe it’s Debbie when she starts dropping “hi friend” messages all over the place for them, even though one of them was carved into someone’s desk. Was Debbie a douche in her life to make you think she would say hello by permanently defacing your property?

There were two big problems with the scares in this movie: there weren’t any and there weren’t any a lot. What I mean by that is that it wasn’t scary, but they went for the “fooled you” scare too much, which is when they build up suspense as if something scary is about to happen and then one of the friends just jumps around a corner instead of a scary thing. And when they finally started showing the “scary things,” they looked like shit.

The actors did satisfactory jobs in the movie, but the characters did not. The main issue I take in the entire movie is with Debbie’s entire family. Why wouldn’t the dead former resident’s stuff be the very first thing you’d clean out of your house? Even if you’re not worried about ghosts accompanying the stuff, it’s still some dead people’s crap that’s cluttering your attic. And then there was Debbie’s boyfriend … or Laine’s boyfriend. I don’t remember. Well when one of them was shown something, they look at it and say, “From the look, I’d say it’s from the ‘40’s.” Did anyone think to question when he became an expert so he could just explain how he knows these things because he’s TiVo’ed hundreds of episodes of Antiques Roadshow?

The movie Ouija was uninspired, boring, and didn’t make much sense. And what’s even worse is that this movie was not scary at all. And it technically should’ve had an easier time scaring me since I was constantly in a state of dozing off during this movie. There’s hardly a better time to scare me! The decent enough performances by some of the cast was nowhere near enough to salvage this movie. Don’t see this movie unless those things are what you’re looking for in a movie. And even if they are, don’t see it. You need therapy much more. Ouija gets “I don’t think this is a good idea” out of “I’m done with this.”

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!