movie: Friend Request
starring: Alycia Debnam-Carey, Brooke Markham
format: Netflix Canada
plot: After accepting a friends request on facebook, Laura, the most popular girl on campus becomes the latest obsession of the school's outcast Mia. Things quickly become stressed as Laura finds herself stalked by Mia and unfriends her profile, who then commits suicide live on camera. Before long, Laura's friends begin to die one by one in horrific ways.
I thought I was getting just another creepy stalker film, but it ended up becoming a ghost story. So bonus. I have to admit too, that this one made me jump a few times. Yes, there are a lot of old fashioned jump scares in it, and they work.
You've got a few things going on here. The obvious, which is the whole cyber stalking/bullying issue, and the psychological effects/side effects of how jacked-in society has become. When you strip away the paranormal elements of the story, you are left with just as scary a one. The fact that from a day to day stand point, social media allows people to get personal without getting too close, is scary all on it's own. Add to that the growing number of people with anxiety issues who find it easier to live "online" than it is in reality; and you've got the perfect cocktail to build upon. And build upon it does.
If you remove the reality based story and simply go with the paranormal elements; then you've got a really great ghost story that has some cliched ideas that come across as fresh and new. The orphan who's family died in a mysterious fire, the occult, and a haunting.
Jealousy is used as a weapon in this. From Laura's boyfriend who feels insecure towards her best male friend, to the actual idea that one media profile is something to covet.
I am going to bury this one here in the graveyard. I'll be back tomorrow with one last treat for your Hallowe'en displeasure.