Friend Request (2016) Poster

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6/10
Poor writing spoils a lot of potential
jtindahouse6 September 2016
The internet can be a very dark place. It's that way because people feel more comfortable saying how they truly feel on matters when they're hidden behind a computer screen, rather than being face to face with someone. Using this darkness as a film subject has been touched on, but not really mastered yet by Hollywood. 2014's 'Unfriended' is the best example I've seen of this subject so far. It has a lot of similarities to 'Friend Request', but remains a superior film. The main thing that it had going for it was that it was shown in real time, which covered up the biggest problem 'Friend Request' faced - the implausibility of no one being able to help.

'Friend Request' starts out as a very fine film. The '2 Weeks Earlier' segment is brilliantly crafted and sets up what should have been a great movie. Then, unfortunately, things start to fall apart. Characters start saying and doing things that make no sense, and all logic in regards to the social network problems go out the window in order for the story to stay afloat. There are some very good jump scares admittedly, however a number of the death scenes are a big let down in terms of suspense. It still remains an above average horror movie, but the disappointing thing here is the waste of potential.
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5/10
Run of the mill horror.
kyliem1121 April 2016
I was quite looking forward to this movie, having seen the trailer, I thought it looked promising. It started well enough, with Laura (Alycia Debnam-Carey) meeting Marina (Liesl Ahlers), who is new at the school, feeling a bit sorry for her and seeing that Marina has no Facebook friends, Laura accepts her friend request. It is quickly apparent that Marina is a bit strange and is practically stalking Laura. Laura decides to unfriend Marina and that's when thing's take a turn for the worse. It's here that the movie turns a bit flat and is pretty much like any other run of the mill horror. A few predictable jumps here and there and thats about it. Liesl Ahlers is perfectly cast as 'the creepy girl' but we have all seen this movie before and it offers nothing fresh at all.
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4/10
You've Seen It All Before But Some Might Not Hate Seeing It Again
HorrorOverEverything6 September 2016
"Friend Request" follows a college student named Laura (Alycia Debnam Carey) who receives a friend request on Facebook from a lonely girl named Marina (Liesl Ahlers) who has 0 friends. Laura accepts the friend request out of pity but quickly regrets it as Marina becomes obsessed with Laura in a very short amount of time. Once Marina's overwhelming advances of friendship are rejected by Laura, she decides to take her own life, film it, and put it on the internet. After Marina's death Laura begins to lose control of her life and her facebook account due to further harassment from Marina's ghost.

I felt like the plot was an OK lead in to a very familiar concept, college kids getting picked off one by one while one person tries to figure things out and find a way to stop the person or thing that is terrorizing them. After the initial set up this movie really starts to look a lot like a number of previous modern day horror films, it just makes no effort whatsoever to try to shake things up a bit. They took an overused formula and stuck to it pretty much to the tee. I even find it hard to write much about the film because it was so bland and just didn't really offer much at all. You will predict every twist, you will see every death coming, and you will not be shocked by the ending at all.

I tend to like these kinds of movies so I was willing to forgive a lot of the film's clichés, but it got to the point where it just felt like the film makers were going down a list of horror movie clichés and checking them off as they made the movie. It's not the worst movie ever, it looks good, the acting is good enough, and a few of the kills weren't bad. However there just isn't enough here to warrant watching it over many similar films that are much better. "Friend Request" is simply a film that is so Luke warm that it's hard to think of much good things or bad things about it.

4/10
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5/10
Well thought out, but not scary.
Alexander Halsall7 May 2016
Cyber based horror has become quite a popular sub-genre in the last couple of years, 2015's Unfriended being the other example that comes to mind. Friend Request is directed by Simon Verhoeven (No relation to Robocop director Paul), and is his first directorial feature that is not a comedy, and in the English language.

Laura (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is a popular college student who is highly active on social media, which includes her Facebook account (totalling over 800 friends). She then receives a friend request from Marina Mills (Liesl Ahlers) a classmate she barely knows who has no Facebook friends. Out of pity she accepts the request. After being messaged constantly by Marina she decides to lie about going out for her birthday in order to avoid her, however photos from the evening end up on Facebook and soon after Marina attacks Laura at school before filming herself committing suicide, which is posted all over Facebook. Following the suicide Laura and her friends come under attack from a demonic force that appears to be Marina out for revenge.

Friend Request is a pleasantly surprising horror feature, which is well-acted by the ensemble. The dialogue between the characters is quite natural and creates a feeling of camaraderie between Laura and her friendship group in the opening scenes of the film. The overarching themes regarding our reliance on social media and how the platforms can manage and manipulate our lives are quite cleverly staged for the most part. Watching Laura's social media being hijacked creates a realistic parallel with stories that are relatable for us watching. Sure maybe when it happens to us it isn't a cyber-demon we went to college with, but having a Facebook Page which serves as an outlet for our thoughts, memories and, well, lives being hacked and seeing spam being sent from a source masquerading under the guise of our identity is an upsetting experience for most. We now see social media accounts as an extension of ourselves, and each other, and Friend Request uses this parallel to make the haunting Laura is experiencing relatable to the audience. However Despite this praise Friend Request suffers from one rather major flaw, it isn't scary. It's certainly jumpy, and had me leaping a couple of times with its scary demons occasionally popping out like demented Whack-a-moles. But it fails to create a sense of dread, or withhold an unsettling atmosphere that makes a great horror movie. The concept of fusing witchcraft with modern technology is quite interesting, but has been covered in previous films to better effect and in the final act Friend Request throws aside any attempt of being a disturbing social commentary in lieu of illogical narrative choices, that I will not disclose to any who wish to see the film. The music in the film is scored by Gary Go and he does a fine job instilling a chilling layer of texture in the latter parts of the movie.

Friend Request is an entertaining, thoughtful, film. But it lacks further detail to make it essential viewing, along with not being unsettling enough to be scary on a baser level. Having left the cinema I, in an absent minded fashion, checked my Facebook page almost immediately without thinking, which merited a chuckle. While there is clearly some observant commentary in the film it doesn't transcend into horror at any point, which is a missed opportunity, but it is still relevant enough to entertain for 90 minutes or so if you're in the mood for a jump-scare or two.

Review by Alexander Halsall, for more reviews of the latest films follow my blog at thebeestheysting.wordpress.com/reviews/
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2/10
A terrible, terrible cringe fest all the way through.
noorutin15 October 2016
I feared the worst for this movie from the very first minutes, but I still truly wanted to give it a chance until the end. Despite some mind-bogglingly unforgivably stupid scenes you want to think that maybe somehow they can turn this crap-fest around in the end, so that it makes sense. They don't and it doesn't.

This is the kind of movie that will actually make you upset that you wasted over an hour of your life in it. Unless you're something like 16, entirely swayed by baseless emotions and not too brightly lit. Only then might it be terrible for you, and that's the only way I can explain the surprisingly good average rating on IMDb.

Certainly some actually talented people were involved with the production: both the visual and audio design and FX are pretty good, and that's what makes this somewhat of a tragedy. You know, because not a grain of that talent is to be found in the writing, acting or direction.

Watch only if for whatever reason you really want to annoy yourself.
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7/10
Not as bad as "Unfriended", and actually shows some merit. A nice surprise.
manuelasaez6 September 2016
Horror movies about the evils of social media tend to be as transparent and sophomoric as the audiences they are intended for, and after seeing the abortion that was "Unfriended", I expected less than nothing from a film with a similar premise. How shocked was I to find that this film didn't suck, and actually did some very clever things despite being a movie about fake online friend lists. The acting was good to great, the SFX was extremely well done and nicely implemented, the script was written by people who know how real teens are supposed to talk (with swear words and sarcasm that isn't usually found in children's movies), and the story just wasn't awful, and I mean that in the best way possible. When you expect nothing and are still disappointed, it makes you wonder why you bothered watching the movie in the first place (as was the case with Unfriended). But this film does a great job of not being made for children, is often clever in the best way, and some of the events that transpire are the exact opposite of what I would have expected. Overall, I enjoyed my time with this movie. It's not a masterpiece, and it won't win any awards, but it was enjoyable. In the end, any movie that can just be enjoyed as it is is a winner in my book.
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1/10
I'd Be More Entertained Watching Garbage Ferment
existenchillist23 September 2017
I'm a huge fan of horror. Generally, I'll watch every horror film that released in theater, so last night I went to see Friend Request. I didn't know it was opening night either and there were about 6 other people there. I walked in a couple minutes late during the intro sequence and found myself confused as I watched about three to five minutes of Facebook snapshots set to weird pop music. The movie then started, I guess, and that feeling of confusion never subsided. It got right into the plot and completely skipped any character development. I didn't care at all whether the lead character, or any other character in the film for that matter, lived or died. I didn't understand the motivation of the antagonist and it wasn't ever really explained. Apparently she was a witch or something similar and had magical powers for some reason. She wanted to kill all of the main characters friends for no reason other than she felt lonely, I think. I don't even know. The ending was even more jumbled and nonsensical. By the time the credits rolled, nothing was explained whatsoever. This was by far the worst film I've seen in theaters in recent memory. In fact, I don't remember ever seeing anything worse. Spare yourself the pain and save yourself two hours. I'd rather mow the lawn or something than have to sit through Friend Request again.
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7/10
Actually better than I thought…
mondocane1220 December 2016
We were looking for a movie to watch that night and we couldn't find nothing. I finally stopped on this one, expecting it to be a kind of "so bad it's good" horror film or for the least, something we could have fun of… It turned out that it was actually not bad at all. Sure, that's not the horror movie of the year, but I still found some satisfaction watching it. The actors are good, the direction also. There's a kind of thrill at the beginning, but at some point it becomes very predictable. Still, I was pleasantly surprised by that movie, and it didn't turned out to be the joke I thought it would be. It was well done and I think it's worth seeing.
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3/10
Meh..
jackricketts-4903520 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I swear I've seen this film before.

Girl meets creepy girl, creepy girl more than she seems. creepy girl haunts girl. girl cries. girl dies (or becomes new creepy girl).

Recycled plot with face book

And I'm sorry, but if i was a taxi driver and i had some teenage girl bleeding out in the back of the car. i would definitely not drop her off outside a spooky abandoned factory by herself.

apparently my review isn't long enough to submit so ill fill it with a pointless sentence that doesn't really need to be here along with a couple of cliché 'its in the mirror behind you' jump scares. quick turn around, it'll probably be gone by the time you do. wait, sorry, now its in front of you.
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8/10
Decent Movie
Nadia_226 September 2016
When I saw this movie first on IMDb list , I thought this is just a new crap cyber movie, just a copy of Unfriended (2015) but it's nothing like Unfriended (thanks God) This movie contains jump-scares, decent plot line , good acting and a pretty dark story behind all that. If you're searching for a decent new horror movie, you should definitely add "Friend Request" to the list, you won't regret. At least I didn't , and I'm usually harsh with new horror movies because they're so bad I can't even watch them. Friend Request is not one of those crappy movies, it has something special and it will keep you in front of the TV screen till the end.
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