Unfriended was about as mediocre as horror movies come, so much so that I honestly don’t even remember what it was about. Despite only making $64 million at the box office, it’s still considered to be quite successful due to its paltry $1 million budget; a staple within the horror genre. Unfriended: Dark Web is its inevitable sequel, although its story has absolutely nothing to do with the first film. I’d say that’s a benefit, however, since it means you can skip the original entirely.
Dark Web follows Matais (Colin Woodell) as he discovers a hidden folder on a computer he found. As he digs deep into its files, he uncovers some highly disturbing and illegal content. Unfortunately, all his actions are being monitored by the shady organization who owns the laptop, and they’re not happy. By hacking into the computer, they’re able to take control over all of online capabilities of Matais and his group of friends who have unknowingly become accomplices in their sick game. They want their laptop back and are will to do whatever it takes to get it.
Like its predecessor, Unfriended: Dark Web takes place entirely online and in “real time.” Its story is mostly told through web cameras during an online Skype session. Basically audiences get to see what Matais sees via his computer. While this may sound interesting in theory, in practice it can be dull and chaotic. No matter the context, it’s boring to watching a conversation through Facebook Messenger. Also, with so many screens open at once things can get pretty hectic as they quickly switch back and forth between conversations. It can be maddening.
What I did enjoy about Dark Web over the original Unfriended is that it’s more grounded in that there isn’t some supernatural entity “haunting” these kids through their computers. It’s an underground group of hackers, and granted some of the stuff they’re doing is ridiculous, but it’s no more ridiculous than a spirit taking control over someone’s social media account.
Overall I did end up enjoying Unfriended: Dark Web more than the first film due to the grounded nature of its horror elements, which feel more relevant over any supernatural aspects given the film’s focus on technology. It’s far from being a groundbreaking horror film, but Dark Web is good for a jump scare or two.