Film Review: “Unfriended: Dark Web” (2018) ★★★

How many people sit on social networks all day at night? Even spending a minute is already an exposure that can be used against any individual. We all are afraid for our security, concerned about what the government is capable of doing if they obtain our private records that is no one’s concern. However, there is the harsh reality that we may not attract interest from law enforcement unless we have done something wrong or somebody made sure it looks that way. “Unfriended: Dark Web” is a teen horror thriller that shows the horrifying world of internet, its power to manipulate data, and what the dark web is capable of.

Matias (Colin Woodell) begins game night with his friends Serena (Rebecca Rittenhouse), Damon (Andrew Lees), AJ (Connor Del Rio) and Lexx (Savira Windyani) who are connected to Skype’s Live Video and Facebook to spend quality time together. While the evening just started, Matias proudly shares his newly found laptop at Starbucks and can’t wait to explore its features even more. But there’s one problem – Matias has no idea that the laptop’s previous owner had no intention of giving up his laptop, and he is willing to do anything possible to get it back. And watching the friends online is just a part of a sinister plan, which pans out during the rest of the evening.

The entire film is shot through the screen of laptops and it begins with Matias and his friends that are quite happy about their lives. Lexx and Serena are sharing an exciting news, Damon seems like an intelligent man who, on top of everything, admires his friends. Matias, on the other hand, is creative and has a lot of potential, but there’s one big bold BUT. When he was at Starbucks, he stared at a laptop constantly. When he realized that there’s no one around to claim it, he simply takes it home. By doing that, he puts himself and his friends into great danger from moment one when they get connected online.

The concept of “Unfriended: Dark Web” is as great as its predecessor. For instance, what would’ve happened if Matias had not taken that laptop? Or, what if Matias would go to the park or cinema, theater or museums to spend his time rather than sitting online? By having an online life, Matias exposes himself to becoming a potential target of a psycological game he is unable to fight with full force. His intelligence is impressive, but it’s the curiosity that won’t help him to make through the night peacefully. But then, it’s not just Matias or his friends, the film explores endless possibilities internet can give, and one of them, is not a pleasant one.

Indeed, in the hands of highly gifted hackers, anything can be presented in any light they wish. From the producer of Get Out, Happy Death Day, and The Purge, Jason Blum does not hesitate to bring a thought-provoking story onto the silver screen in such a profoundly bone shivering way. Stephen Susco as a director seems to have had complete understanding of the storyline and delivers it in a very believable manner. All the onlline phenomena, such as Bitcoin, Facebook, Skype, web cam are used as tools that can do anything to human life – enriching in the first place, making them famous or taking everything away from them, like they had no life, no relatives other than a dark tunnel of web.

In conclusion, there’s a lot to take away from “Dark Web” and tons of lessons to be learned. Why sitting on the internet day and night or taking laptops from God knows where is not one of the best ideas. It’s about the danger that sees no boundaries, no walls, and can cross any continent without any intervention. As it explores the dark nature of web, it also questions the reality, the choices we make, and especially if that choice made is the wrong one. The film does not offer a happy ending, because once someone gets into a trap, there are only two ways of freeing oneself from it. And hoping that there will be no scratches or injuries would be naïve. Luckily, this film doesn’t look for an easy way around but tells the story the way it should be – harsh truth and right to the point. The world we have entered is quite dark and turning on the light won’t make it brighter. But let’s hope, what happens in the film will never occur in real life. But looking at the way it’s been made, it looks like it’s already happening to someone and we just do not know about it. Yet.

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