Watching the new horror film "Unfriended" unfold, I wondered why no one had actually tried this until now.
Using a simple gimmick as its hook, this is a clever entry into the genre — one that I expect others will try to duplicate.
The set-up is simple, and timely. Laura (Heather Sossaman) is a high school student who, after being cyber bullied, commits suicide.
On the anniversary of her death, six of her friends (Matthew Bohrer, Shelly Henning, Courtney Halverson, Moses Jacob Storm, Will Peltz, and Renee Olstead) are video chatting when someone hacks in from Laura's account.
At first they think it is a prank, until the person starts revealing the group's darkest secrets, determined to destroy everyone.
"Unfriended" all unfolds on group member's laptop, a gimmick that actually helps with the suspense.
We get to see the group desperately try to uncover the mystery, clicking through links and private chats. The look and approach reminded me of "The Blair Witch Project" in taking an original eye for the audience to peer through
It also gives director Leo Gabriadze an avenue to create some really original jump scares and clever visuals.
There are two or three legitimate scary, jump up moments, but the film also has a sense of humor about itself. It never takes itself too seriously, kind of winking at the audience at times.
It's clear that the cast and crew had fun with "Unfriended," and that fun carries over to the audience.
It's unlike anything you've seen before, but will likely be the new blueprint for the genre.
"Unfriended" is Rated R for violent content, pervasive language, some sexuality, and drug and alcohol use - all involving teens – and is now playing at the Regal Greenwood Mall Stadium 10 and Highland Cinemas in Glasgow.