OnScreen Review: "Unfriended: Dark Web"


Cristina D'Almeida

Unfriended: Dark Web takes a deep look into the insane and obscure depths of the anonymous dark web in a chilling and destructive way. A sequel to the first installment (Unfriended), this dark, technological and insane thriller toys with the minds of their audience leaving them in total suspense and shock.

The movie begins with a computer screen filling the movie screen and a mouse moving along it as someone is trying to find the correct password to log in to the laptop. Right off the bat, you don’t really realize that the movie is actually beginning. There are no opening credits or an opening title. I found this to be kind of cool. The camera work is unusually brilliant. It felt as if you had a giant computer screen in front of you. As it moves along, the password eventually works, gaining access to the laptop, and we are quickly introduced to Matias O’ Brien, the new owner of the laptop, his girlfriend, Amaya DeSoto, who is deaf, and the rest of Matias’s friends through the computer screen in the form of a video chat. Again, this is unlike any other camera work I’ve seen. There is a total of seven people that make up this friend group. We learn that Matias is using a new laptop that he found in a lost and found and he is using the advanced programs on it to make better videos of himself doing sign language, so Amaya can better understand him when they’re trying to communicate through video chat.

As the movie progresses, there is some tension between Matias and Amaya because Amaya feels as though the videos he made only help her understand him and not vice versa. She sees it as a selfish move, but he sees it as him only trying to make things easier for her. This adds a little bit of “love drama” before we get into the serious and heavy stuff that is about to take place. I like that sort of variety. It is also “game night” so everyone within the friend group decides to video in with each other to form a large group video chat to play some games.

As this happens, we are formally introduced to everyone in the friend group. I enjoyed learning about each of these characters because every single one was honestly, so interesting. We got a taste of a few different personalities. We have Nari and Serena who are a happy and engaged couple, we have AJ who is an internet personality and conspiracy theorist who lives with his mother, we have Damon, a literal genius, who lives in London and Lexx who is a dj and lives on her own.

Throughout the game night, Matias discovers dark and torturous files on the laptop from the previous owner and begins to share these files with the rest of the group. These videos consist of mostly torture and killings. This is where the movie turns severely suspenseful and depressing. The events that take place afterward are heart-wrenching and downright horrific. Killings are witnessed, weird interactions with the killers are made through the video chat, conversations are invaded, threats are made, and the group is unwillingly taken into the mysterious and sick world of the game known as the dark web.

I enjoyed some of the dry humor and few comedic moments throughout the game night with this group of friends. They really mirror your typical circle of chums in their mid-twenties talking about gossip, chomping on Chinese food and dips, making fun of each other and just trying to enjoy each other’s company before this awful chain of events take place. The parallel is that they’re trying to have a fun game night, but the members of the dark web are trying to have their own game night, a game night of a very different kind and because Matias picked up this laptop, everyone is automatically involved. On the contrary, the small amounts of humor that happen offer some comic relief. I especially enjoyed AJ and Damon. AJ offered so much humor to the movie with his corky personality and witty ways of speaking. He was the real jokester throughout the whole movie. Damon was smart and spoke well, but his laid-back personality offered some comfort. This is a group of people anyone, including myself, would love to have as friends in real life.

The ending events were shocking and totally unpredictable. I left the theater with chills. There were moments where I sat there thinking to myself, “is this really happening?” The actual writing of this movie, as in the plot, is absolutely amazingly done. Every single event that takes place is so well thought out yet tricky. I found myself having to pay really close attention to the events happening. If you missed one moment, you’d be totally thrown off. In fact, that is one note I had for it. It moves way too quickly, but then if you really think about it, how else are you supposed to cram a plot like this into two hours? It was very rapid. This movie was jam-packed with advanced technology, that I believe to probably actually exist in the real world.

If you’re looking for a tense yet startling movie to see in theaters filled with terrifying and exciting thrills with a massive amount of darkness, this is the movie to see. It’s just enough to send you over the edge yet it is so fascinating. I’d give this movie 3 stars.