Of all the film genres, horror is typically the most likely to have alternate endings — specifically either a bummer ending or a happy-ish one. While test screenings can have an impact on which ending ultimately makes it to theaters, home releases often include both. Hostel, The Butterfly Effect and The Descent are just a few of those. (It’s interesting to note that, when given the choice, audiences usually prefer the darker ending of the two.) But in the case of Unfriended: Dark Web, the film is being released with both endings. The kicker? You have no way of knowing which ending you’ll get when you see it in theaters.
When the Avengers reassemble for their big sequel this weekend, they do it to stop Ultron, an eight-foot-tall robot who wants to destroy the world. He’s the accidental creation of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, who are trying to create an artificial intelligence capable of protecting the planet from threats too big for even the Avengers to handle. Their experiment is a horrific success; Ultron becomes self-aware, gives himself a body made out of spare Iron Man parts, and begins plotting the Earth’s destruction. “You want to protect the world, but you don't want it to change,” he tells the Avengers. “There’s only one path to peace. Your extinction ... when the dust settles, the only thing living in the world will be me!”
For the third week in a row, Furious 7 took the top spot at the box office and made it look easy. Not even a trio of newcomers could slow down the latest entry in the crowd-pleasing action series, which has become the fastest film to reach $1 billion worldwide. On the domestic box office, it’s equally impressive. It’s a juggernaut. A cultural event. At the end of the day, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 may make some money, but it’s making that money in the shadow of a genuine phenomenon.
Unfriended wants to do for social media what The Ring did for VHS tapes — take a piece of everyday technology and turn it into an object of uncommon terror. A bunch of teenagers on Skype have their group call interrupted by an intruder who claims to be a dead classmate who killed herself after she was cyberbullied. The entire movie takes place on a computer screen as one of the girls in the group, Blaire (Shelley Hennig), browses the Internet, checks her Facebook, and chats with her friends about the anonymous assailant who abuses and threatens them and then starts picking them off one-by-one. What follows becomes an original gloss on a very unoriginal subgenre. Its very clever and creepy merging of movie and technology is nearly ruined by a stale horror clichés.
We’ll be down at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin later this week and one of the film's we're looking forward to is Unfriended, the new horror film from producer Jason Blum (The Purge, Insidious). The film is unique because it takes place entirely within one teen's computer screen as she and her friends are stalked by an unseen figure seeking vengeance for a video that led a girl to kill herself a year earlier. Unfriended is having its world premiere at SXSW, and we want you to join us at the exclusive afterparty!
The advent of new technology has effectively killed so many old school horror cliches (it’s not easy to get lost in the woods when you have a tiny computer for a phone) that filmmakers working within the genre often have to work overtime to invent brand new cliches that complement the age of the iPhone. The ‘Unfriended’ trailer represents a movie that has clearly gotten the memo but decided to take things to the extreme. This isn’t just a horror movie that features all of the social networks and online tools you use on a regular basis, it’s a horror movie about those things. Dun, dun, duuuun!