This film, set in the same universe as the 2014 film Unfriended, attempts to conjure up some freaky technology related scares, but instead comes off as a tired gimmick.
A young teenage boy named Matias O’Brien (Colin Woodell) acquires a brand new laptop from a buyer on the online website service Craigslist. In his spare time, Matias works tirelessly on developing a software called Papaya – an application that makes it easier for deaf individuals to understand online conversations. He is making this application since his girlfriend Amaya DeSoto (Stephanie Nogueras) is deaf, and to communicate better and more efficiently with her. However, he eventually discovers that the buyer he got his new laptop off of Craigslist from is hacked into his computer and will stop at nothing to get it back, and puts Matias and his loved ones in danger.
The first Unfriended film directed by Leo Gabriadze was a film that was surprisingly effective and had a lasting effect on the viewer after the credits rolled. So many horror films these days that use the laptop horror gimmick often come off as poorly made and are riddled with cliché moments and scares. Unfriended: Dark Web however, does not manage to be nearly as creepy or effective as its predecessor.
In the original film, we never once heard music playing whatsoever unless the main character was playing music through their computer speakers, which is great direction. With this entry, there are several scenes in which we hear music for a prolonged period of time even when our lead protagonist Matias is not listening to music. The film is supposed to feel as realistic as possible, yet whenever we hear music that is not coming from our main character’s speakers, it drastically takes you out of the viewing experience.
This film does luckily have a few really well done moments and said scenes do have an element of tension to them, especially one sequence towards the third act that was surprising. Dark Web is additionally a picture that does have a chilling ending and one that, while a bit predictable, it was certainly an upsetting ending.
It is much easier this time around to care for the characters. In 2014’s Unfriended, the lead characters were so unlikeable, that whenever the horror element kicked in and people started getting killed, it was exceptionally difficult to feel any sympathy for them. Gratefully, the characters present in Dark Web are considerably better, and a couple that you do actually root for.
This film is silly in the sense that our lead character never once misspells any words or has any typos while typing something up on his computer. His typing is seemingly perfect. This is not just a fault with this film, however, as it seems that practically ever horror film that is told from the perspective of a computer does this.
Also, the film can be unfortunately corny at times. This is mostly because a large majority of the dialogue that is given to our characters is either cheesy or just flat. There were quite a few times where it is hard to get invested in everything since the dialogue does not always work.
Unfriended: Dark Web manages to conjure up a few scares, but ultimately fails to have a reason to exist.
Overall Grade: C
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for for some disturbing violence, language and sexual references
Cast: Colin Woodell, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Betty Gabriel, Andrew Lees
Directed by: Stephen Susco
Distributed by: OTL Releasing, BH Tilt
Running Time: 92 minutes