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.

Stake Land

Stake Land is another movie I passed up on watching when it came out because it was probably “Scary”. Same story, different movie. Turns out it is about vampires AND apocalyptic. Great addition to Apocalypse Week, then.

Unfortunately, the title Stake Land makes me think of Scrubs, specifically, Steak Night. Yes, both words are different, but shut up. Oh well, I am probably just hungry. The cover image looks kind of cool though.

Cover
Oh god. I thought that was Jeffrey Dean Morgan for a second. Whew, that was a close one.

So yeah, Vampires are a thing now and they are kind of fucking up the world. It is kind of like the Zombie Apocalypse, but vampires. So day time is fine, but people have to fear the night, and blood thirsty animal like savages. They are different than zombies damn it. Still can’t stand a stake in the heart though. But who can survive that anyways?

Our hero is young Martin (Connor Paolo) who lost his parents to the vampiric plague. He was later discovered by a vampire hunter who just goes by the name of Mister (Nick Damici), and Mister has taken it up on his own to teach Martin how to survive, how to kill, how to make a living off the land, not being scared of what can happen.

Okay, that is kind of the whole movie. Vampire killing, surviving, and shit happening. They run into some other survivors who join their ranks, including Willie (Sean Nelson), an ex Marine, and Belle (Danielle Harris) a pregnant singing chick.

There is also this fucked up group The Brotherhood, with the local chapter being lead by Jebedia Loven (Michael Cerveris). They are super religious, but an extreme group, who often feed wrong doers to the vampires for being unholy. They are all sorts of fucked up, and a human presence that are almost work than the vampires running around at night.

Death
“Jeepers Mister, you’re really strong”. I just quoted the Disney fucking Hercules, because it fit so well here.

Turns out I need to stop being such a jerk when it comes to movie covers. Sure, I didn’t watch it because I thought it would be a horror film. But if I did some research, any at all, I would have found it to be a drama with some horror elements at all. Maybe the cover itself made me think it was a B film as well. Either way, excuses are excuses, and I should have watched this movie when it came out.

Why? Because I kind of liked it. I could have recommended it to people for over a year now! Boo!

Either way, this movie reminded me a lot of The Road. Kind of like a man and his son, and the people they meet. The Road is a lot more bleaker, and that’s why it is rated higher. Because shit was real. This one had a lower budget, but more fight scenes and a lot more death (and a bit less sadness). But despite that, I think it was an interesting fresh take on vampires and apocalypse movies, so I am happy it didn’t disappoint.

3 out of 4.