Laura, a popular, social media obsessed college student accepts a friend request from a mysterious girl who has no other friends on her own page. When the girl starts to misinterpret their brief acquaintance for a close friendship, Laura tries to distance herself from her and unfriends her. A demonic presence then starts to haunt Laura and it wants to make her feel lonely by killing all those closest to her.
One thing this film does well is the slow degeneration of the life of the central character- Laura. It begins with an attractive woman, with an equally boyfriend, a number of friends and an active social life and presence on social media. Laura's existence gradually unravels and it's all out of her control. It highlighted the similar helplessness one feels when you realise the vastness and dangers of the internet in the event of something going wrong.
Sadly, the film followed the same technique as most horror films do now- build up the tension and release it with a cheap scare.
I came out of the film with more concern over who I would accept a friend request from in future. This was not for fear of a demonic presence in my house- but more because of how free and easy it is to accept a friendship from someone online without knowing a lot about them. If the point of the film was to showcase the dangers of being careless on the internet then it delivered.
I think the movie was a good way to encourage younger people to be cautious online, however it didn't scare me or make me turn on all the lights in my house when I got home, (that's just my personal gauge of how good a horror movie is- you might have a different technique).
I thought the cast put in strong performances, especially Alycia Debnam-Carey, who was convincing in the lead role and it was good to see William Moseley in an adult role- as the last time I saw him on the big screen was in The Chronicles of Narnia. The dialogue was realistic between the characters and the music was genuinely creepy.
The film was reminiscent of Candyman for me- in that the victims knew they didn't have a lot of time left when the insects started to appear. It was disappointing that the movie didn't adopt something fresh to alert the audience to the appearance of the demon.
When Laura explores the page of the mysterious girl- her posts come to life and messages and posts appear on the screen throughout so you do become immersed in the world of the characters. It's just a shame that the scares made you jump and showed you the demon early on rather than making you use your imagination.
One to tick off the list but sadly it offers nothing new to the horror genre.