For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Found Footage Movies, here’s a review of Cybernatural (Unfriended) (2011) by Kim of Tranquil Dreams
Thanks again to Tim of FilmFunkel for choosing this month’s genre.
Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Natasha of Life of This City Girl We will be reviewing our favorite Sci-Fi Movies.
Please get me your submissions by the 25th of January by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org Try to think out of the box! Great choice Natasha!
Let’s see what Kim thought of this movie:
Found Footage films are quite new to me. I haven’t seen the iconic ones like The Blair Witch Project for example. I always picture amateur filming and a painful movie experience full of nauseating sentiments. It didn’t help that I started this genre off when I saw Area 407, which is a ridiculously bad horror found footage and you definitely should not go check out. However, what did peak my interest was two years ago for Fantasia Film Festival 2014 when I unexpectedly chose two new-age modernized Found Footage genres which impressed me quite a bit. While one of them is great and probably has a much better script and movie experience, I really enjoyed the second one. It could be the premiere hype because in wide release, many people didn’t like it. That movie was called Cybernatural when I saw it which was then now more commonly known as Unfriended.
Cybernatural (aka Unfriended) (2014)
Director: Levan Gabriadze
Cast: Heather Sossaman, Shelley Hennig, Courtney Halverson, Moses Storm, Will Peltz, Matthew Bohrer, Jacob Wysocki, Renee Olstead
A year after a humiliating video was posted of their friend Laura Barn which caused her commit suicide, six friends get together for a online meeting. Except someone using the account of Laura forcefully joins the chat. They try to get rid of them but the mysterious person coerces them into playing a game that turns out to be more deadly and it starts making them wonder if its something supernatural and evil that is happening.
Cybernatural (which I think is a much better name) is not a perfect movie but it has a lot to say about the world we live in. In a world full of technology, our lives are monitored easily through the many technologies that we have. In this movie, we live through Blaire’s computer screen during the whole situation. Sure, they are all teenage characters with their high school problems and their feuds and all that stuff. Except these characters are believable and they exist. Most of us at one point or another chatted on Skype and the thought that someone can hack into your computer or someone else’s account and stalk you is a legitimately scary thought. Its with this concept that I enjoyed Cybernatural. My expectation is that if I rewatched it on my computer, it would enhance the experience even more. On a big screen, it was pretty convincing as its like peeking into someone’s personal space, which is pretty much the modern-day PC that we own. Blaire is like a normal girl with her relationships and friends and her wandering multitasking habits. And we’re sitting right behind her as she does this.
Thats what the new age found footage is about though. Its being oblivious and ignorant to the technology we are engaged in. Its about how effective cyberbullying is even without us actually knowing it. Youtube, Facebook and all those social media networks are dangerous because they are just words and you aren’t even engaging in face to face contact and yet it could be a factor. On top of that, the unknown is the person on the other side. That stranger that hacks into your life and disturbs you and there is the helplessness and threat that occurs.
Cybernatural is just through one computer but it also is effective in revealing the true dangers of social media and the unknown world hidden behind a computer screen. Sure, it hints at a possible supernatural being haunting the teens with a few scenes (and maybe you might even believe it), or you might find these teens completely annoying and the things they talk about stupid or even that they deserved their outcome, but fact is, the message rings clear on the dangers. This is just the normal concept of found footage but its being able to observe many places at the same time, and really step into many places just sitting in one spot. It brings out the point that even thought you are connected with others, how much do you know and actually, there are still many distances despite the accessibility of all this technology.
Its that raw and new concept of found footage and the effective message that Cybernatural sends out that makes me really enjoy this movie.