September 22, 2017: Friend Request, Can a Movie be Too Scary? (Review)

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A Brief History

On September 22, 2017, the new horror film Friend Request opens in theaters across the U.S.

Having previously shown in Germany (where the movie was filmed), the film was made with an English speaking cast speaking English.  Apropos to this era of internet and cell phone addiction, the horror aspect of the movie is readily related to by modern audiences.

Digging Deeper

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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Some members of the JCU Paranormal Research Group after our screening at Great Northern Mall.


About Author

JCU Paranormal Research Group

The John Carroll Paranormal Research Group is a student organization that seeks to find out more about the paranormal while being academically intent and focusing on establishing credibility. Founded in the Fall of 2013 by Eugene Claridge and Raymond Camma, the BooStreaks have held many informative meetings that have included guest speakers, such as Dr. Judith Cetina and Bill Kreji, who appeared on Ghost Hunters in 2009. The group has worked with the Ohio P.I.R.A.T.E.S., a paranormal team out of Akron, Ohio, to learn some of their methods and to hear about their work. The Paranormal Research Group has conducted investigations in the following locations: the Cleveland Agora Theatre, the Ohio State Reformatory, the Russell Rhodes Mansion (a.k.a. the Cuyahoga County Archives), and the Sandy Chanty Seafood Restaurant. John Carroll University has recognized the group both in the Carroll News and most importantly, as the "Outstanding Organization of the Year." Not only has the group been able to explore the paranormal subject and investigated historically important locations in Ohio, but members had the fortunate opportunity to see advance screenings of major motion pictures that feature the paranormal, particularly The Quiet Ones (2013). After one academic year, group membership has risen to about eighty members, who seek further journeys this upcoming year. Please check out our Facebook and Twitter pages!