SWING AND A MISS
Film review by Fiore
FRIEND REQUEST begins with an interesting concept; Medieval witchcraft through modern digital coding. Demons and ghouls are finding their way through all types of technology these days, the curse of a truly digital world, but this blending of ancient black arts and digital coding is a nice twist. However, after establishing the twist, FRIEND REQUEST falls flat on its face. There are only a few decent jump scenes and the visual factors for an R rated horror film are lame. The film basically lacks punch; like a boxer who can drive his opponent to the ropes, but doesn’t have enough to put him down.
PLOT AND STARS:
Laura, played by Alycia Debnam-Carey, one of the dread three named people, despite the hyphen, is one of the popular girls in school, and immersed in the popular clique. Out of pity, she friends an awkward loner, Marina, played by Liesl Ahlers on Facebook, unaware that Marina has subjugated her soul to witchcraft.
Once she has a friend, Marina begins to stalk Laura, intruding on every aspect of her life. Laura realizes it was a mistake to friend the weird girl, but when she tries to undo her mistake, the members of her clique begin to die. It’s never really clear whether Marina wants to cost Laura all her friends, or if she just wants to spread her evil to another soul.
Starring with the two girls are Sean Marquette, Brit Morgan, William Moseley and Connor Paolo. The kids do a fine job acting through a midland horror tale, but they are dealing with a script that leaves much. For example: While Paolo fills the part of Kobe well, there is no rational explanation why he suddenly turns to the dark side. His transformation is not justified by his previous characterization.
The Horror Workshop, based out of Berlin, provides intriguing special effects. FRIEND REQUEST features a demon, a witch, two faceless boy ghosts and black wasps. There are also macabre videos posted on Facebook by Marina. All of the Horror Workshop’s endeavors are sabotaged by the Wiedemann & Berg Production Company. They cut the scenes short as soon as the SFX take hold. As a result, what could be scary, ends up as only a tease.
ACTING = C
CINEMATOGRAPHY = C
SOUND/MUSIC = C
EDITING = F
LIGHTING = B
SCRIPT = D
SFX = C
ACTION = D
There was strong potential here, emanating from a unique concept; however, the film consistently misses its mark in most aspects. It refuses to take an adult approach to horror, even with its rating, and seems conflicted whether to make social media or witchcraft the true culprit.
It’s disheartening to see something so consistently shot itself in the foot. Every aspect of this film is in need of a reboot and a redo.
REWATCHABLE INDEX: NONE