Friend Request

Image result for friend request movie poster

The lesson I learned from this film couldn’t be more clear— if you are the popular hot girl, never, ever try and make friends with the loner loser girl with no friends because she will turn evil and stalk you on social media, even after she dies.

We’ve had some great horror movies this year.

This isn’t one of them.

Attractive and popular girl Laura (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is in a loving relationship with a doctor-in-training Tyler (William Moseley), had lots of friends (including like over 800 on Facebook), and seems to have a great life in progress.  However, she started seeing Marina (Liesl Ahlers) around campus and the girl is sad and lonely.  So much so, when looking at her Facebook page, Laura sees that Marina has no friends.  Some of the dark imagery on the page intrigued Laura, so she became the sole friend.

Unfortunately and predictably, Marina becomes obsessed with Laura, stalking her, sending her message after message, and creeping the heck out of Laura and her friends.  When Laura lies to Marina about a birthday party, everything starts to unravel.  Finally, Laura unfriends Marina.  Then, Marina commits suicide and posts the video on Facebook for the world to see.

Suddenly, more posts start popping up on Laura’s feed that she did not post, showing some horrific situations.  And when Laura’s friends start becoming victims, these videos continue to show up somehow, under Laura’s name.

No one seems to be able to delete the videos and Laura seems unable to delete her account, which apparently does not trip the curiosity of the two stupid local cops involved in the investigation of these deaths and who think Laura has something that she is hiding.  These two brainiacs are just one of the things wrong with this movie.

So many characters here wind up doing stupid things that I find myself rolling my eyes constantly.  Very few of them make reasonable and normal choices about what to do.  It just makes no sense.

Because there is an opportunity here to tell a story about cyberbullying or about the cruelty of casting aside a girl just because of popularity or the trouble of social media and what it can bring or even a real consideration about mental illness and what can come from that.  Instead, the girl is an evil witch and can somehow cause pain and death via Facebook.

The only attempts at a scare in this movie is by jump scare.  The music wells up and blasts really loudly and there is a horrific image.  Jump scare.  There is nothing else scary or creepy here, and there is potentially so much to mine here.

In fact, at first, I thought we might get something different than I was expecting because the first video we see on Marina’s page is a cool, black and white animated image that filled the screen and made me sit up and take notice… for all of about 45 seconds.  And then the film retreated right back to the dull and idiotic horror tropes that every other bad horror movies uses.

The acting is average to poor.  The characters take actions that went against what the film had led us to believe they wanted in the first place.  These were not real life characters.  They were poorly developed cardboard cut outs doing what was needed for the plot to advance.

If you want a good horror movie this weekend, go back and watch It again.  Do not accept this friend request.

1.5 stars

 

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