Illustration by Edgar Soria Garcia
There are thousands of horror movies out in the world featuring different themes, languages and cultures. Some of them are bound to be terrible. Lately there has been an influx of horror movies revolving around the internet, movies including “Unfriended,” “#Horror” and “The Den.”
Spoiler warning: most are not that great.
The following two films, however, are the bottom of the barrel. I was offended by their awfulness and ashamed I spent money on them.
There are so many different ways to make the internet scary and turn it into a great thriller, but for now, we have high school dramas with some spooky ghosts thrown in. I hope the horror film industry steps up its game and eventually makes a horror worthwhile horror with an internet focus.
“The Selfie Man” AKA “Selfie from Hell”
There’s no explanation for why there are two titles, but I guess it symbolizes the confused plot of this terrible horror film.
“The Selfie Man” is another “the dark web is a scary place” movie that follows a young woman named Hannah who tries to figure out what killed her cousin Julia — or put her into a coma. Who knows?
The movie has little to no explanation for any plot points. I’ve watched it more than once; even then, I barely grasped what this movie is supposed to symbolize or showcase.
The supernatural being in the movie appears after 13 selfies are taken, and it cracks your phone screen. However, sometimes the creature comes from videos or before a photo is taken.
At one point — spoiler alert — the main villain begins to take photos of Hannah with the front camera of her cell phone, and the creature shows up. I guess “The Front Camera Man” wasn’t as catchy.
The supporting character, Trevor, who pops up very creepily, “aids” Hannah throughout the film, but is terrible at it. Trevor withholds information from Hannah and only then provides said information after Hannah has already made the discovery.
For example, Hannah tells Trevor she thinks Julia dug into the dark web and tries to figure out a way in. Trevor, fully aware, says nothing to her.
After Hannah gains access she begins to have a hard time to get through, Trevor provides links to Hannah to better understand. Basically, Trevor had access to the dark web this entire time and didn’t think to tell Hannah. He’s a pointless character.
This movie is a poor excuse for a “modern” horror film, and on a scale of 1 to 5, I’d give it a -3.
A high school drama story taking place in a college setting, “Friend Request” fails to represent college culture just as it fails to be a decent horror film.
Laura, a popular girl on campus, has over 800 friends on Facebook and is well known; she is just so cool.
She’s so cool that she accepts a friend request from someone named Marina who has no friends, nor eyebrows.
Marina begins to obsess over Laura, posting cryptic images and messages on her Facebook wall and sending obsessive DMs. Cool girl Laura has enough of Marina’s posts and, gasp, unfriends her.
Marina commits suicide but is not completely gone; she becomes an evil spirit and torments Laura for the entirity of the movie.
“Friend Request” is a trainwreck of a film, and relies on cheap jumpscares and poor attempts at originality.
Marina is an unlikable character; she comes off as a rude, angsty girl rather than a woman to feel sorry for and root for.
Laura is lost and her “friends” are very irrational.
A good example — spoiler — is how her friend, Isabelle, blames Laura for supernatural powers that killed another of the film’s generic characters.
Apparently, Laura is so cool that she must know how to summon killer wasps and make people slam their heads against walls.
The only thing scary about the movie is how its $9 million budget managed to make this film look worth less than $100,000.
The dark moody tones made me motion sick, and the amount of times where I had to raise the brightness of my screen gave me headaches.
A scale from 1 to 5, I give “Friend Request” a 1 — as in one way to make this movie enjoyable, is not to buy it.