Friend Request

From the title alone, I understand that Friend Request will make you think of Unfriended. It is about social media, teens, and horror.

Unfriended was hated by basically everyone except for me. I enjoyed how creative it was and well, that is it. It was creative. I am fine with movies pushing their mediums further. It was cheesy a bit, but at the same time, it had me terrified. I was on the internet too much.

Friend Request did not make me rethink social media at all, it just made me rethink the choices that made me go and see Friend Request.

Computer
“So the evil is INSIDE the computer?”

We are going to examine Laura (Alycia Debnam-Carey), a popular girl on Facebook, with 800+ friends. Which yeah, is just your regular college girl amount really. She hangs out with her BFFs (Brit Morgan, Brooke Markham), doing college stuff. Laura is a Psychology major, so you know she is serious about her education as well.

And in her psychology class, there is Marina (Liesl Ahlers), a girl who wears black and looks weird. She has zero facebook friends, until she sends a request to Laura, and Laura just accepts anything. This makes Marina happy. She also sends Laura messages all the time, but she has creepy Facebook posts and is a bit unsettling. So of course Laura unfriends her, and surprise, Marina flips her shit and kills herself.

And now, Laura’s Facebook is basically haunted. She can’t delete messages, she can’t send anything, and she can’t delete it. The Facebook begins to post things on its own, pissing off her friends and making her alone. Oh yeah, and her friends start dying as well. Looks like there is a curse on Laura and it is one she cannot unfollow.

Also starring William Moseley, Connor Paolo, Sean Marquette, Shashawnee Hall, Susan Danford, Nicholas Pauling, and Lee Raviv as young Marina.

New Girl
You know those new girls, always…posting videos of dark woods, mirrors, and baby dolls to the internet.

There was a technical issue in my theater when I watched this movie, so the first five minutes had no sound. And with no sound, the movie gave a clear picture of where it was going and how bad it would be on the way there. It also looked hilarious with over exaggerated gasps and zoom ins on our main characters face. When it was restarted with noise, the damage had been done, and I knew too soon that this movie was a piece of shit.

Friend Request is one of the modern horror films where no one is bad or deserving of their problems and people just go and die. I am not saying horror films need morals, but really, I need some sort of motivation or anything for this film to exist. This story is that Laura gets suddenly unlucky for no reason, there is nothing she can do to stop it, and her life is now fucked. Hooray! Hard to get behind that concept.

As for the deaths? They also blow. A lot of them are done in excessively dark light, so viewers cannot build suspense. Scary sounds and not being able to tell what is happening is not scary, especially when it screams out being a budget reason and we have to use our own imagination to fill in the gaps. Nothing is rewarding out of this film. It doesn’t even have any strong messages about the technology age, bullying, social media, nothing. Just a cash grab on getting people in by having Facebook references.

0 out of 4.

Deidra & Laney Rob A Train

Finally, I am getting into some obscure titles that a lot of people probably have missed out on. Oh, I skipped a lot of non-obscure titles to get here, but those were at my home, this was on my phone in a parking lot.

Deidra & Laney Rob A Train is not too long of a movie, going for an audience that is not an adult male who criticizes films. The perfect thing to watch and write about.

This is another Netflix original, just not one they advertised. Again, a different demographic, gotta make money somehow, and gotta do it by making content that appeals to every different sect they can imagine.

Stoop
Stoop Kids are afraid to leave their stoop!

The sect that this film was made for was teenage girls or families who don’t want to think about what they are watching.

Deidra (Ashleigh Murray) is a senior in high school and she has worked her whole life to be in a good position for college. She is the top of her class, she has dreams and aspirations of getting out of her small town or whatever life, far away and become someone great. She has a younger sister, Laney (Rachel Crow), who is somewhere in the high school age range, and Jet (Lance Gray) who is probably middle school aged but treated like a 3 year old.

Their dad (David Sullivan) is out of the picture, because he had a drug and criminal past, but he lives nearby. Their mom (Danielle Nicolet), has been working hard to give them some level of existence, but she has gone surprisingly berserk at her job, breaking TVs and gets arrested. Arrested?! Yes, arrested.

For whatever reason, CPS is totally cool with the kids living on their own (Deidra is 18), as long as an adult is at home with kids at all time and they have food and pay the bills. Long story short, shit is hard, it affects their school, and eventually decide to start robbing items from the local trains that come through their town. They make some money, pay some bills, work on bail, and work on saving through college.

Ah, to now live a stress free lifestyle. Featuring Tim Blake Nelson as a railroad cop, Sasheer Zamata as a guidance counselor, Arturo Castro as a cop, and Missi Pyle, Brooke Markham, and Kinna McInroe.

Room
I couldn’t find a picture to cram even more side characters in one shot.

Deidra & Laney Rob A Train, looks, feels, sounds, and smells like a made for TV ABC Family (Or FreeForm, whatever the fuck that is) movie. Somehow even the camera work seems specific to that channel. And I am not speaking entirely out of my ass, I have reviewed made for TV movies on ABC Family. With that mantle, it delivers exactly as I would have expected: safe, bubbly, yawns.

D&L is just a bore. We have a single interesting character, Deidra, who has to make hard decisions. However the details on her life in this film are really weird. The Guidance Counselor talks about how most of the kids at the school suck and don’t achieve, because it is an inner city school. Yet they show it as a small rural town, and straight up everyone in it outside of our leads are super white, upper middle class to upper class looking kids.

It also has a very strange subplot about a Miss Idaho teen pageant that Laney gets involved with. It appears she is in an actual class at her school to prepare her for this pageant, and honestly, the plot barely goes anywhere and is just a distraction to get the running time up.

Nelson is just a cartoon villain in this movie. There are no real consequences for our characters, and even the one sob scene moment just doesn’t really seem to connect. It explains why the mom goes berserk, but it does not fix the problems that are still caused by the acts. And again, robbing trains is totally the right and best choice by the time the movie ends.

Sigh, to be young and pointless, like this movie.

1 out of 4.