FRIEND RE­QUEST

Just ig­nore it

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased 22 April TBC | TBC

Di­rec­tor Si­mon Verho­even

Cast Aly­cia Deb­nam- Carey, Liesl

Ah­lers, Wil­liam Moseley, Con­nor Paolo

Is “Just turn off your com­puter!” about to re­place “Get out of the house!” as the hor­ror fan’s most com­mon howl of dis­be­lief ? In Friend Re­quest, as in last year’s Un­friended, a group of friends is haunted by a venge­ful ghost who uses the in­ter­net to wreak her re­venge. But while Un­friended had a point to make about the way we in­ter­act on­line, the main thing Friend Re­quest seems to know about the in­ter­net is that screamer videos ex­ist.

The plot’s re­ally just a de­liv­ery mech­a­nism for jump scares: pretty and pop­u­lar Laura ( Aly­cia Deb­nam- Carey) ac­cepts a friend re­quest from geeky loner Ma­rina ( Liesl Ah­lers), but re­coils when she sees the dis­turb­ing con­tent Ma­rina posts to her not- re­ally- Face­book ac­count. When Laura un­friends her, Ma­rina com­mits sui­cide – and then the haunt­ing be­gins.

With more in­ven­tive frights, the non- ex­is­tent story might not have mat­tered all that much, but even the mon­sters here are bor­ing; CGI wasps and coloured con­tact lenses just aren’t as ter­ri­fy­ing as di­rec­tor Si­mon Verho­even seems to think, and all the loud bangs in the world can’t hide the com­plete lack of ten­sion. You’d give your­self more in­ter­est­ing night­mares scrolling through the NoSleep thread on Red­dit with the lights off. Sarah Dobbs

Friend Re­quest was re­leased as Un­friend in Ger­many – then reti­tled in­ter­na­tion­ally, for ob­vi­ous rea­sons.

Janet in­stantly re­gret­ted see­ing Bob’s “In­spired by Your Brows­ing His­tory” Ama­zon sug­ges­tions.

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