Although mixed in cast of characters besides Matias (who, like Hennig in UF1, acts his heart-out) & slow in set-up-plotting, UF2 is wildly-dark and inexorably-sadistic in psychologically-twisted, realistic horrors of the 21st Century Internet Age. 8.7/10.
After finding a laptop, a young man goes online to play a game with five of his good friends. He shows them a mysterious folder that plays disturbing videos of people who appear to be in danger. They then receive an anonymous message that tells them they will all die if they disconnect or call the police. The planned night of fun quickly turns deadly as each user becomes the target of something sinister while the others watch helplessly in terror.
*Possible spoilers ahead*
Moving away from the supernatural roots of the first film to something much more grounded in reality, I was surprised how much UF: Dark Web worked. The first Unfriended, despite some pesky opinions of perpetually-mad trolls equally a horrifying part of the internet (and that maybe both of these scripts should have addressed as my word where are these people coming from and are they watching a different movie, or not understanding it?, was a modern chef d’ouevre with one of the most innovative, fast-paced, premise-relevant, and thrilling products to come out the genre in I don’t even know how long.
I was so looking forward, like a slasher fan waiting for his fix of shameless sequels, to another version of the same cyber/supernatural concept, only to hear them announce it was going to be grounded in reality and a (dark) part of the internet that actually exists. This premise sounded risky and a completely-different idea than the first film, perhaps too innovative boldly deciding to deviate from the first’s now-tested and successful formula that warranted a sequel and potential franchise, but when you have a studio that wants to shake things up and continually innovate like Blumhouse, I just had to trust in them to deliver. And (mostly) deliver, they did. Although mixed in cast of characters besides Matias (who, like Hennig in UF1, acts his heart-out) & slow in set-up-plotting, UF2 is wildly-dark and inexorably-sadistic in psychologically-twisted, realism-grounded horrors of the 21st Century.
Although the cast of characters this time is a bit more mixed and shaky from Colin Woodell’s leading Matias (who, like Hennig in UF1, acts his heart out and plays his part well) to the awfully-haired AJ and hyper-annoying uptight/nagging Nari who almost warranted a theater-leaving early on, the set-up plotting is admittedly slow and unsure in its morality of characters with Matias thieving and, in essence, getting them all into this with his nosiness, and the screen-shared real-time camera style isn’t as fresh and groundbreaking as the first (understandably since it’s a sequel), the film evolves into a brutal, fast-paced, dark thriller around the 30 min mark that gets crazier at every turn. The aptitude of the hackers involved is sadistic to watch as they (more groundedly) undo and play with their victims, if anything even more dastard in its planting and framing of the horrible actions that transpire before us and gaming ending.
Overall, Dark Web, is even better and more innovatively-imaginative than the original, invoking a primal fear and xenophobia in this new frontier that’s arguably even more dangerous than real-world if exploitedL the internet. While the original Unfriended went supernatural in cyber-whodunit, DW is completely-realistic in thrill-seeking of what could truly happen to someone in the crosshairs of the wrong hackers, made even scarier by the fact they’re ruining lives for fun. Although mixed in cast of characters besides Matias (who, like Hennig in UF1, acts his heart-out) & slow in set-up-plotting, UF2 is wildly-dark and inexorably-sadistic in psychologically-twisted, realism-grounded horrors of the 21st Century. That Blumhouse badge now means something in horror as far as CLC is concerned.
Official CLC Score: 8.7/10