Blu-ray Review: FRIEND REQUEST

FRIEND REQUEST was directed by Simon Verhoeven from a screenplay by Matthew Ballen, Philip Koch and Simon Verhoeven and stars Alycia Debnam-Carey, William MoseleyConnor PaoloBrit Morgan, Brooke Markham, Sean Marquette and Liesl Ahlers.

A college student accepts a friend request from a mysterious classmate, setting off a horrendous series of events with deadly consequences. Laura (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is a popular college student who lives her college life to the fullest and gladly shares it with her 800 Facebook friends. But when she accepts a friend request from her mysterious classmate Marina (Liesl Ahlers), she unwittingly sets a terrible curse in motion. The dead girl’s impenetrable profile begins to drive Laura into isolation. It takes control of Laura’s virtual world and her real life as well. One after another, her closest friends die horrendous deaths, leaving Laura with only a few days to solve the enigma of this haunting curse to save the few friends she has left, as well as her own life.

Laura accepts a friend request from Marina who ends up becoming obssessed with her, to the point Laura tries to politely “break it off” with her. Things get so uncomfortable for the popular college student that she unfriends the social outcast who doesn’t take it well at all. This drives Marina to the point that she commits suicide and all Laura was trying to do was be nice to her. What happens is, one by one Laura’s friends start dying mysterious deaths and with each death her number of online friends also begin to slowly dwindle. She finds out that there was much more to Marina because she realizes that the disturbed young woman is still obssessed with her, even from the afterlife. Laura does some investigating and tries to find a way to stop this nightmare but in the end she realizes that it’s too late.

Now let’s knock out the worst part about this movie and that was the uninteresting characters. You at least want your main player to be interesting and sadly that just didn’t happen here and it’s enough to kill a movie like this. Well, that and you don’t use enough of the good stuff that it has going for it, like the scares. There were some creepy cool moments in Friend Request but not enough to salvage it. I did like the concept, though. I liked the mashup between social media, which really can be a blessing or a curse, and this supernatural element that was inserted into the mix. There were some impressive special effects and visuals used for the supernatural element and some gruesome deaths to go along with it but unfortunately it just wasn’t enough to save the movie.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Friend Request was okay watch that unfortunately it fell flat in a few areas. The biggest problem I had was with the boring characters because I didn’t care anything about them. The concept was pretty cool because it mashes up social media nightmares with the supernatural but it just didn’t deliver enough of the goods to keep me fully invested. I guess the blame goes to director Simon Verhoeven and the editing for its shortcomings because the movie had potential to be something pretty cool. This German produced, English language movie was released internationally as Unfriended but since we’d already gotten a movie with that title over here they decided to give it a name change for the U.S. release and went with Friend Request. To me the movie is a mixture of Single White Female meets The Craft meets Unfriended (the first one) that takes place in the world of social media. Friend Request will be available on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD) on January 9th.

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Run Time: 96 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.35:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features:

  • “Friend Request: The Social Nightmare” Featurette (11:22)
  • Digital HD Copy

 

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