UNFRIENDED

A stunning new way to do a horror movie, utterly simple in concept, but like nothing you’ve seen before. The filmmakers are able to sustain an entire feature, without flagging, using in essence only one Skype screen, containing the “live” boxes of the doomed teens on a group call that cannot be hung up on without a death. The horror begins within minutes of the opening (even as the Universal logo runs at the very beginning) which sets up the story, literally, in just a few keystrokes. (In fact, the movie “gets” the way we use computers so well, we feel almost as though we’re typing as well.) And it just builds and builds, with the kind of grip on the audience I can’t remember since back when “found footage” movies were still fresh. The actors, whose faces are basically all we see, do a good job of projecting distinctive personalities and a very good job of showing us their growing fear, then outright terror. This is the writer’s first feature and the director’s second. We should be hearing from both of them again. — Jeff Schultz

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