A Brief History
On September 22, 2017, the new horror film Friend Request opens in theaters across the U.S.
Friend Request is supposed to be scary. Is it? YES! So scary an adult woman got up and left saying she was too scared to continue watching and people could call her a “chicken” but she was leaving! The gasping and cringing among the audience was testament to the level of anxiety and fear generated by the creepy goings on.
As the title implies, the film centers on a lonely girl outcast making a “friend request” to a popular college student with hundreds of social media “friends.” The popular girl, feeling sympathetic, allows the loner to befriend her, but things go downhill from there. The clingy, needy loner becomes obviously mentally ill and something of a stalker, and once “unfriended,” apparently loses whatever sanity she had. People die, the heroine is terrorized, and plot twists and reveals are laid out in graphic detail.
Audience reaction was quite favorable, with laughs, gasps, and howls in all the appropriate places. The jump scares worked on the audience, and no part of the film seemed to fall flat. In fact, the pacing was quite good, the movie moving right along without any slow parts. Tension levels were high, and the ever present reality of social media murders, plots, drama and the posting of gruesome videos on the internet give the film credibility, even with the supernatural aspect thrown in. High schoolers and college age people will especially relate to the age of electronic communication and the culture surrounding it, and should take a warning from the movie about just who they “friend” and the types of things they post.
We enjoyed the film and give it a recommendation for all horror fans to make it a point to see in the theater, where you can benefit from the audience reactions instead of waiting for the DVD to come out. Casting, acting, and filming are all good, and as a special treat, animated sequences add a unique flavor to the film in a creepy way. Not to be confused with “cartoons,” this animation is an illustration of madness, a worthwhile contribution to the air of terror the film develops.
If you are a horror fan, or if you are addicted to social media, your cell phone, or the internet, Friend Request is a must see. If you know someone who meets the above criteria, drag them along with you and scare their pants off!
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For more information, please see…
Verhoeven, Simon, dir. Friend Request. Lionsgate, 2018. DVD.