‘Friend Request’ is the kind of horror movie you probably watched at a sleepover as a teenager. It’s scary, a bit cheesy and bang on the zeitgeist. The story follows Laura (Alycia Debnam-Carey), a popular college kid who accepts a loner’s friend request on Facebook but doesn’t behave like a friend IRL. The result? A curse that plays out via Facebook and causes all her mates to drop dead, one by one, in a ‘Final Destination’-meets-‘The Craft’ kinda way.
The death scenes are genuinely hide-behind-your-sleeve terrifying, but each one of Laura’s pals is so self-absorbed that you’ll joyously embrace their gory fate. Plus, the film has a whole other level of (potentially unintended) humour thanks to cheesetastic lines like ‘Unfriend that dead bitch!’ The film is strung together with teen horror clichés: creepy childhood flashbacks and a load of witchcraft. However, it also deals with the very modern way our digital and real-life worlds converge.
The most cinematically interesting parts of the film are those where it zooms in on characters’ Facebook profiles, turning pictures and videos into full-screen hallucinations. Like ‘Scream’ and ‘The Ring’, ‘Friend Request’ is probably best watched with all your mates, a tongue-in-cheek attitude and a lot of Pick ’n’ Mix – and I mean that in a good way. Social media has never been so scary.