Horror has delved into every conceivable crevice of our worst nightmares; dredging up what lurks in the darker shadows of the human imagination.
Flesh eating zombies, malignant spirits and demonic incarnations all of course still have the power to send a collective, cinema-wide shiver.
Much like our earliest ancestors, we all harbour a deep-seated terror of being hunted. Of something wild and dangerous creeping ever closer towards us.
However, we are now firmly in the modern age, with many – if not most – of our social interactions happening online. And this brings fresh territory for horror to stalk.
In the weighty tradition of fright fest classics such as The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, Unfriended: Dark Web is very much a found footage horror.
However, rather than the shaky hand-held cameras of yesteryear, this film is pieced together through various video chats; using the onscreen format introduced with 2014’s Unfriended.
Colin Woodell, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Betty Gabriel and Andrew Lees all star as an ill-fated group of friends who find themselves in mortal peril.
You can watch the creepy as heck trailer for yourself below:
Directed and written by Stephen Susco (The Grudge, Texas Chainsaw 3D), IMDb gives the following plot synopsis:
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.
Intriguingly, you may well get a very different experience of Unfriended: Dark Web than your other horror loving friends.
There are two very different endings and no way to know which one you are in for, adding to the movie’s overall sense of tension and disorientation.
— jalisha turner (@pinkyopink) July 15, 2018
— ?? Aaron Reason ?? (@aaronreason1987) July 12, 2018
Even the most seasoned horror viewers are freaking out about this trailer, which looks a little too much like your regular Skype conversation for comfort.
The shots of the characters talking are interspersed with shocking snuff films, where people can be seen trapped and tied up. The trailer follows the group’s dawning realisation they are watching something very, very real.
At one point a dark figure can be seen climbing through a sleeping person’s bedroom window. Another scene shows a person being shoved into the path of an oncoming train.
The confused, then petrified faces of those in the video conversation add further dread. One girl recognises her own mother being murdered, while another person desperately tries to warn his friend to ‘not click the link’.
— ray mallaber 3 (@raymallaber3) July 13, 2018
— YoureKillin_MeSmalls (@Shelby_Smalls) July 13, 2018
One YouTuber commented:
Actually looking forward to this one. There’s a lot of real life horror stories about the Dark Web that aren’t different in the film, and there are people who are kidnapped and used as slaves or torture tools.
Plus unlike Laura from the film, the villains are legitimately targeting innocent people. Although, who really uses Skype in 2018.
Is this a story or is that real because I am crying and getting scared.
— Heather Wixson (@thehorrorchick) March 10, 2018
#UnfriendedDarkWeb is a total fucking blast. A different take on the same narrative gimmick that #Unfriended had (though it has more in common with @zachary_donohue’s #TheDen than that film) but it fixes a lot of complaints people had about the first one. Don’t miss it!
— Trace Thurman (@TracedThurman) March 10, 2018
Are you feeling brave enough to give this film a go?
Unfriended: Dark Web will come to terrify you in UK cinemas August 10 and US theatres July 20.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.