Dir. Nick Simon
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
The format has been tried and tested and even though UNFRIENDED arrived long before we should have got shares in Zoom, the on-screen format feels tired already. Some will find the cast charming, some will find it annoying and it depends on which side of the coin you fall on how much you'll enjoy the movie.
There are plenty of in-jokes to the film industry and horror genre self referential to other films and inspiration to the characters but that's not enough to carry the film. At only 90 minutes long, it takes a lot of investment in the characters before any actual horror occurs and even then it's hard to gauge whether it's the actors playing their game. The restriction in budget and on-site casting really is the reason for this story and yet it is what holds it back. The moments things start turning creepy, there's no real change in atmosphere which takes away any urge of suspense especially when there is a need for a call to announce something creepy is going to happen but when the rest of the cast play it down, it simply just takes away any reason to be terrified. "You think it's Casper?" asks one of the friends and that pretty much sums up the film.
The issue isn't with the well rounded cast. Katherine McNamara has been a growing her resume with plenty of horror, THE STAND, KAPPA KAPPA DIE and even starting her career in R.L. Stine adaptations, Luke Baines has appeared in FRIGHT FEST and TRUTH OR DARE to say a few and Claire Holt was in 47 METRES DOWN and THE VAMPIRE DIARIES al of whom carry the pace of the film. Through all it's attempts to bridge horror and comedy, UNTITLED HORROR STORY never quite hits the mark on either. There's a sense that while it is evident that film makers need to adapt, for a period of time that is so limited as that through the pandemic, this film has quickly become dated and as a result, despite facing the limitations bought on it, is frankly just a footnote in cinema and not a revolution.
The BBFC rated this as a 15 but be warned, this is primarily due to the swearing as there's nothing to be afraid of here.