Welcome to Cheat Sheet, our short reviews in the style of festival films, VR advancements and other special event launches. This review comes from the 2018 SXSW Film Festival.
As the producer of the recent Oscar winner Get Out and essentially of all the horror films of the last five years, Blumhouse founder Jason Blum is one of the most important names in South By Southwest this year. On Friday night, he performed at midnight on the untitled co-production of Blumhouse and Bazelevs and took selfies with festival goers in the hallways before going on stage to announce that the film, written and directed by the newcomer Stephen Susco, is in fact a sequel to the Desamparados of 2014. Many horror fans had already guessed this on Twitter, and it was a kind of surprise surprise revelation. Although Unfriends: Dark Web was unexpected, a movie called Unfriended: Game Night has appeared on the Wikipedia page of Susco for weeks, perhaps modified to avoid confusion with Jason Bateman's recent comedy Game Night.
In any case, it is a sequel to Unfriends, the first American feature film by Russian director Levan Gabriadze. That movie takes place completely on a MacBook screen, going in and out of FaceTime, iMessage, Facebook and Skype, and following a group of teenagers as they are eliminated one by one. While they die, their friends watch via webcam, with much crying, snot and disbelief. No Friends was one of Blumhouse's standard low-budget horror box-office hits, with a budget of $ 1 million and a global collection of $ 64 million. No friends: Dark Web looks almost as cheap (although a 20-second stretch of Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" raises her eyebrows), but the vanity novelty of the MacBook's screen has faded, so No one knows if it will be performed at the same level.
What is the genre?
Horror, although the movie starts in a Spotify window playing the "Myth" of Beach House and "Get Free" by Major Lazer. Nice for a second!
What is it about?
Without help: Dark Web is again carried out on a MacBook screen. The ensemble cast here is a bit bigger than the first film crew, a group of people in their 20s who do not feel like venturing into the subway, and instead gather in Skype for their game night of weekly table. It features Colin Woodell, who will be featured in two other horror thrillers this spring: Steven Soderbergh's The Unexone, and Aaron Harvey's The Neighbor, supported by a charming and diverse cast that includes Betty Gabriel, Rebecca Rittenhouse The Mindy Project, Switched in Birthie Stephanie Nogueras, and mostly unknown Andrew Lees, Connor del Rio and Savira Windyani.
Everything is fun and games until everyone gets hurt
Woodell plays Matias, a programmer who just stole the main computer from the movie of a lost and found; he needed a faster machine to help him create real-time ASL translation software to help him communicate with his deaf girlfriend (Nogueras). Everything the film says about their relationship is that they did not bother to learn sign language, but made a montage of them walking (file name: "The Hike That Changed Everything"), set in Fun Instagram. Caption -Sacarina played "Carry On".
The horror begins (Kidding! I went to a Fun concert in 2012 like everyone else), but it intensifies when the owner of the stolen laptop begins to threaten Matias on Facebook Messenger. Later, Matias runs into a mysterious Dark Web portal (?) Called "The River", in addition to a folder full of snuff films made to order. He and his friends see girls dying of thirst, sitting in a bucket of corrosive acid, trains and roofs and a forceful force trauma. Naturally, they respond by transferring $ 10 million in Bitcoin value from the laptop owner's account to Matias, in the hope that this will protect them from damage. Oh boy!
What is it really about?
No friends: Dark Web has some fantastic twists (one is stolen directly from the end of FX Fargo's first season, the rest are fair and all really amazing), but it's as bleak without explanation as you can get. While the original No-Friend had a villain who was taken to the murder for the somewhat silly motivation of "teen humiliation", the villains of Unfriends: Dark Web are not motivated by anything at all.
the villains in No friends: Dark Web are not motivated by anything at all
If it is, as the description of the SXSW event promises, "a warning for the digital era" is confusing. Most of us usually avoid stealing a $ 1,500 laptop from a stranger, for reasons other than the possibility that it belongs to a serial killer involved in an atrocious global criminal circle. A warning story about respecting the honor code of "do not take that laptop temporarily unattended in a cafe" is quite dry. And these faceless guys in hoodies, who all go by Charon, talk to each other in Latin, switch to Ethereum because "it has a better kind of change" and specialize in torturing and killing teenage girls, they are a personification of the version most extreme internet bogeyman imaginable. They are the subject of the nightmares of parents and the bad stories of Hollywood hackers. They are omnipotent, with the ability to see and hear everything their victims do, find them anywhere, appear from nothing, discover any secret and ruin any life.
The cast has a great chemistry, especially in the first warmer scenes, when they seem to be riffing outside the limits of the extremely melodramatic script. The Rittenhouse character does a tachycardia like "Kendra de Malibú", del Rio offers an impenetrable libertarian diatribe about how Facebook and Twitter are free because you are the product, and Lees is charming as the friend who is so devout, he "I will stay until 3 AM, London time, to play a card game with your friends.
Only when it is over, do you realize that you have not been doing anything for an hour and a half.
No friends: Dark Web depends much more on the peculiarities and secrets of the software (both daily and dark) than the original movie, which is a merit on their part, since it allows a plot much more complicated and difficult to predict. But the true emotion of Sin-amigos was that it looked exactly like our lives when we lived them, waiting to write bubbles, moaning at the ball of the beach of death, trying to distinguish microexpressions in a blurred webcam recreation of a loved one. The horror of seeing the interfaces on which we entrusted most of our daily doses of intimacy against us was genuinely innovative and, in fact, terrifying. Here, the audience I was with laughed out loud with lines like "Oh God, they crossed the river, did not they?" As the film progresses through its last 20 horribly brutal minutes, it becomes darker and more punitive, never slowing down to explain exactly why the audience is being punished.
Like the briefly lived game of Cards Against Humanity that gives the cast a chance to stop screaming and crying, Unfriends: Dark Web has enough snark, shock and indifference for the emotional comfort of anyone to briefly confuse viewers by making them To believe that something was taken away is worth it. But when it's over, it's easy to walk outside feeling like you've spent 90 minutes doing nothing.
What should be qualified?
It includes a scene in which a 17-year-old discovers that a hole in his forehead has been pierced. R, please!
How can I see it?
A release date has not yet been announced, but Unfriended was theatrically released about a month after its premiere at SXSW in 2015.