As technology develops and social media becomes more and more ingrained in society, a new era of horror has been born. Filmmakers are intrigued by the anonymity of users who lurk online and the willingness of people to divulge their deepest thoughts to an unknown audience, which has resulted in a rise of movies that bring our fears of the dark side of social media to the screen. From the terrifying tale of a computer hacker in Pulse (2006) to the murderous mysteries inside Chatroom (2006), FRIEND REQUEST is the terrifying latest addition that will frighten you enough to make you question your online friends very carefully.
Enjoying college life as a popular student, Laura shares everything with her more than 800 friends on Facebook. But one day, after accepting a friend request from a social outcast named Marina, Laura’s life is cursed, and her closest friends begin dying cruel deaths. Before her time is up, Laura must solve the mystery behind Marina and her Facebook profile, in order to break the deadly spell.
As Friend Request comes to cinemas April 20, we take a look at the films that have paved the way for this chilling new release.
A remake of the Japanese horror film, Kairo, starring Kristen Bell, Ian Somerhalder and Christina Milian, Pulse is the story of a computer that could lead to terrifying evil taking over the world. When hacker Josh invades the PC of Douglas Ziegler, a computer genius developing a wireless signal, a mysterious force that takes the will of human beings is released. As a forceful suicide epidemic is generated, panic sets in when Douglas’ girlfriend Hattie has a terrifying vision of their friends dying and the modern world being destroyed. Battling against time, it’s up to the pair to shut down the system in order to save mankind.
A cat and mouse chase, FBI agent Jennifer Marsh is up against a seemingly untraceable serial killer who is posting chilling live videos of his victims on the internet. Always one step ahead, the killer capitalises on human nature by drawing people to the dark side, enticing them to log onto an “untraceable” website. The more people lured in, the quicker and more violently the victim’s fate comes to an end. With a mirror server replacing the site every time it’s shut down, the operation is fatal; with death awaiting those who dare to beat the mystery of the murderer’s identity.
A distressing British thriller, Chatroom brings the terrors of chatting to people online to light. When five teenagers meet online in chatroom “Chelsea Teens!”, a chance for a group of different personalities to come together arises. But with their true identities masked by a screen, it doesn’t take long for the truth to be revealed and their darker sides to be shown. With the oppressor not being satisfied with his own menacing thoughts, he sets out to try and turn the others. But with a screen as a barrier, the real danger comes when technology fails and the group are thrown together with nowhere to hide.
Unfriended exploits the fear of social media stalking when high school student Laura Barns’ computer screen is taken over. With revenge as the motive, she and her friends are stalked by someone seeking vengeance for a shaming video that led to one of their friends killing themselves a year earlier. Testing the limits of friendship and loyalty, the group find themselves forced into a deadly game of Never Have I Ever. Exposing a harmful web of lies and secrets, Unfriended showcases the damaging way that we present ourselves online in a uniquely terrifying way.
Friend Request (2016)
Taking the test of online friendships to the next level, Friend Request tells the frightening story of what can happen at the click of the accept button. Popular college student Laura is like most others her age, thinking that sharing everything with her more than 800 friends on Facebook is completely harmless. That is until one day when she accepts a friend request from a girl she doesn’t know, who becomes jealous of her popularity and becomes determined to cut down Laura’s Friends list to one. Her. As her friends begin to die with horrifying cruelty, she tries everything she can to break the curse before it causes any more deadly damage.
FRIEND REQUEST COMES TO CINEMAS ON APRIL 20