Review: Unfriended: Dark Web

2014’s Unfriended, a found footage style film, followed a group of friends being haunted via a Skype call by the ghost of their deceased classmate. The sequel, Unfriended: Dark Web, swaps out a supernatural threat for a real life killer.

Dark Web follows Matias (Colin Woodell) and the new laptop he got from the lost-and-found at a local cafe. During a Skype game night with his friends, Matias finds a secret file on his laptop that includes a series of chilling videos. Once the previous owner of the laptop is aware Matias is in possession of the videos, he threatens to kill Matias’ girlfriend Amaya (Stephanie Nogueras) if the laptop is not returned.

Matias and his group of friends quickly learn the owner of the laptop has sinster plans for the women in the videos. With their lives threatened, the group scrambles to find a way to save Amaya as well as themselves.

Like any scary movie, Dark Web has jump scares and horrifying imagery sprinkled throughout. What this tech heavy horror has that most films in the genre don’t,  it doesn’t need those parlor tricks. The idea of people spying through your webcam is scary. How quickly someone can find information online is terrifying. Having conversations recorded without your knowledge is creepy. Accidentally stumbling upon something you weren’t supposed to is even more hair-raising. The film brilliantly use real life horrors to create a creepy cautionary tale about internet use in the modern age.

Horror is the only genre Dark Web comfortably fits in, however, the story isn’t scary in the way traditional horror films are. What’s scary isn’t as immediate as a jump scare or a killer in a crazy mask. The real terror happens the next time you boot up your laptop and wonder if someone is watching through your webcam.

The cast does a great job selling the tense moments, jump scares, and every shocking reveal. Get Out’s Betty Gabriel has a supporting role alongside Andrew Lees, Connor Del Rio, Rebecca Rittenhouse, and Savira Windyani. Each character is given a back story of some sort, but they’re all there to sell the horror happening on and off screen – and they sell it well.

Director Stephen Susco does an amazing job making a film about a group of friends talking on webcams interesting. The story keeps your attention by seamlessly switching between Skype calls, Facebook chats, and shocking videos. Who knew a Facebook alert could be so eerie?

Dark Web succeeds at being a film that’s more unsettling than scary. It makes you uneasy about living your day-to-day life online and turns everyday fears into a nightmare.

Grade: B-