It seems that we can’t get enough of social media. We’re constantly tweeting, checking statuses and sharing content with the people that we know (and often, lots of people that we don’t).
And as this technology became a more important part of our lives horror writers and producers could rejoice as a new era of horror was born. Filmmakers are love the anonymity of users who lurk online and the willingness of people share their deepest thoughts and intimate moments with an unknown audience.
The result is that there has been a rise of movies that bring our fears of the dark side of social media to the screen. From the terrifying tale of a computer hacker in Pulse (2006) to the murderous mysteries inside Chatroom (2010), Friend Request is the terrifying latest addition that will frighten you enough to make you question your online friends very carefully.
Watch the trailer here:
In the film we follow Laura, a college student who – like most teens – shares everything with her more than 800 friends on Facebook. But after accepting a friend request from a social outcast named ‘Marina’, Laura’s life seems cursed, and her closest friends begin dying cruel deaths. Before she meets her own end, Laura must solve the mystery behind Marina and her Facebook profile in order to break the deadly spell.
As Friend Request comes to cinemas today (April 20th), we decided to take a look at the other films that have used social media for scares.
5 Scary Social Media Horror Movies
A remake of the Japanese horror film, Kairo, starring Kristen Bell, Ian Somerhalder and Christina Milian, Pulse is the story of a computer that could lead to terrifying evil taking over the world. When hacker Josh invades the PC of Douglas Ziegler, a computer genius developing a wireless signal, a mysterious force that takes the will of human beings is released.
As a forceful suicide epidemic is generated, panic sets in when Douglas’ girlfriend Hattie has a terrifying vision of their friends dying and the modern world being destroyed. Battling against time, it’s up to the pair to shut down the system in order to save mankind.
A cat and mouse chase, FBI agent Jennifer Marsh is up against a seemingly untraceable serial killer who is posting chilling live videos of his victims on the internet. Always one step ahead, the killer capitalises on human nature by drawing people to the dark side, enticing them to log onto an “untraceable” website. The more people lured in, the quicker and more violently the victim’s fate comes to an end. With a mirror server replacing the site every time it’s shut down, the operation is fatal; with death awaiting those who dare to beat the mystery of the murderer’s identity.
A distressing British thriller, Chatroom brings the terrors of chatting to people online to light. When five teenagers meet online in chatroom “Chelsea Teens!”, a chance for a group of different personalities to come together arises. But with their true identities masked by a screen, it doesn’t take long for the truth to be revealed and their darker sides to be shown. With the oppressor not being satisfied with his own menacing thoughts, he sets out to try and turn the others. But with a screen as a barrier, the real danger comes when technology fails and the group are thrown together with nowhere to hide.
Unfriended exploits the fear of social media stalking when high school student Laura Barns’ computer screen is taken over. With revenge as the motive, she and her friends are stalked by someone seeking vengeance for a shaming video that led to one of their friends killing themselves a year earlier. Testing the limits of friendship and loyalty, the group find themselves forced into a deadly game of Never Have I Ever. Exposing a harmful web of lies and secrets, Unfriended showcases the damaging way that we present ourselves online in a uniquely terrifying way.
Taking the test of online friendships to the next level, Friend Request tells the frightening story of what can happen at the click of the accept button. Popular college student Laura is like most others her age, thinking that sharing everything with her more than 800 friends on Facebook is completely harmless.
That is until one day when she accepts a friend request from a girl she doesn’t know, who becomes jealous of her popularity and becomes determined to cut down Laura’s Friends list to one. Her. As her friends begin to die with horrifying cruelty, she tries everything she can to break the curse before it causes any more deadly damage.
Friend Request is released in cinemas on April 20th.