Friend Request

Director: Simon Verhoeven (2016)

This silly horror show about internet stalking opts for cheap slasher action and ignores the very real dangers of the virtual world.

Lurking at it’s dark heart is a cabal of well worn ideas such as secret sects and black magic.

Wasps buzz angrily and the scrabbly screechy soundtrack is laden with ominous echoes.

Alycia Debnam-Carey stars as student Laura who accepts a social media friend request from classmate Marina, played by pallid Liesl Ahlers.

When the lonely goth commits suicide on camera, Laura’s social media account takes on a life of its own, publishing the video and offensive messages.

As Laura’s friends suffer violent deaths, she must turn cyber sleuth to save herself and importantly, her diminishing online popularity.

It’s difficult to work out if the pair of cops investigating the case are a signifier of satirical intent. There are numerous unintentional laughs.

Presumably  in a bid to prevent legal problems, the specific social media site is never identified and the F word is never mentioned. But I could think of a few.