A teen comes into possession of a new laptop and soon discovers that the previous owner is not only watching him, but will also do anything to get it back.
Starring: Rebecca Rittenhouse, Betty Gabriel, Stephanie Nogueras, and Colin Woodell
Directed and written by: Stephen Susco
Talk about an awkward feeling. Sitting here writing a review about a movie featuring a person being stalked on their laptop, and wondering…is someone watching me write this? Could I be next? Double check if the green light is on! Does that even matter? Well hopefully they agree with what I’m writing! Focus…time to review “Unfriended: Dark Web.”
While not a direct sequel to “Unfriended,” this sequel is shot in a similar way. This time the audience is viewing the action from Matias’ (Colin Woodell) computer. Well sort of his computer, as apparently he has gotten his hands on someone else’s computer, and they want it back. He opens some familiar sites like Facebook, FaceTimes his deaf girlfriend, Amaya (Stephanie Nogueras), and Skypes a group of his friends. The computer is giving him some problems, so he starts digging around. He finds some files, and trouble starts when he begins looking through them.
The real owner of the laptop has been watching him, and threatens Amaya in order to get it back. They use a technique to cloud their image in the video making them almost seem like a ghost. Instead of just giving it back, Matias opens more files in front of his Skype friends, and they see some extremely shady videos. These videos are the true horror in this story, and it would have been nice to see more of them.
There’s no turning back for Matias and his friends, as they’re eliminated one by one. While the deaths are brutal, the view on the laptop takes a little something away from them. It's the same thing that took away from the deaths in the original movie. Also, once the audience sees that it’s a character's time to die, what’s about to happen to them is kind of predictable.
Seeing “Unfriended” definitely prepares the audience for all the clicking back and forth on the big screen. After a slow start, the plot thickens, and mystery and tension set in. They end up putting together a nice story for something that all takes place on a laptop. Secrets and twists play out along the way, with the biggest one being who is behind all the deaths. While this isn’t a direct sequel to “Unfriended,” it might actually be nice to see a direct sequel to this one focusing a little more on why this all happened. So if you’re watching, hopefully I don’t offend you by giving “Unfriended: Dark Web” 2.5 pools of blood!
After the rise of a third political party, the New Founding Fathers of America, an experiment is conducted, no laws for 12 hours on Staten Island. No one must stay during the experiment yet there is $5,000 for anyone who does.
Starring: Y’lan Noel, Scott Davis, and Joivan Wade
Directed by: Gerard McMurray
Written by: James DeMonaco
Between “The Purge” and “The Purge: Anarchy,” it always seemed like the movies should have been switched. Anarchy gives audiences more details about the Purge, which would have been nice to know in the original movie. “The Purge” has always seemed more like just another home invasion movie because audiences didn’t truly grasp what the Purge was. Now “The First Purge” changes that thinking, and gives this franchise a proper starting place, even though audiences have to watch them out of order.
So how does the Purge begin? The government is changing, and times are rough in the United States. This allows a new party to come in and run an experiment, which they hope will help them gain the power they’re looking for in this country. Basically they go to a poor area in Staten Island and tell people they will get $5,000 to stay there during the Purge, and even more if they participate. Of course this is met with protest, led by Nya (Lex Scott Davis). She wants what’s best for her community, including her brother, Isaiah (Joivan Wade). Isaiah is tired of living poor and is looking for the easy way out, but soon learns it isn’t so easy. Unknown to Nya, he just started working for the neighborhood drug dealer, Dmitri (Y’lan Noel), who has history with Nya.
The story is set up well, but it’s all about what happens on Purge night! To start, not much happens. Actually it’s all fun and games until one local crazy person is willing to go to the extreme of killing his fellow neighbors, while a few others are in for a couple of scares. Since it’s the first Purge, it’s fair to expect nothing as exciting as in other movies. However, it's still full of some wild masks, which will hopefully be available this Halloween!
For the audience that follows this franchise, they’ve seen involvement in the Purge from outside sources, and they get to see where that starts. It helps fill in some blanks as to where these groups come from in later movies, as well as showing why the Purge was a success. Eventually all hell breaks out, and Dmitri and his crew decided to take a stand against these outsiders. There are some good gun fights between the sides before Dmitri has to come to Nya and Isaiah’s rescue. While exciting to watch, it unfortunately moves the movie from being a horror movie to an action film.
If you’re a fan of this franchise, “The First Purge” is definitely a must see. At a minimum, it explains some things that happen in previous movies, and gives the franchise a much better starting place. The story sets up well, including how these character’s lives are intertwined. It might not be a surprise that nothing exciting and new happens on Purge night like in previous movies. This one is actually short on horror, and becomes an action movie in its final sequence. The movie does deserve some credit for not being afraid of some of the social commentary it makes. With that, I give it 2.5 pools of blood, and look forward to what the upcoming T.V. series has to offer.