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2016 / Horror
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5.3 / 10
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Podcast Request
Directed by Simon Verhoeven
Written by Matthew Ballen, Philip Koch and Simon Verhoeven
Starring Alycia Debnam-Carey, William Moseley, Connor Paolo, Brit Morgan, Brooke Markham and Sean Marquette

A popular college student graciously accepts a social outcast's online friend request, but soon finds herself fighting a demonic presence that wants to make her lonely by killing her closest friends.

The following tags are associated with this movie: Technology, Supernatural, Demon
Friend Request (2016)
Review by Bradley Frohloff

5 / 10
The movie starts off okay but once the plot really kicks in, the movie transitions to quite an uninspired collection of jump scares and first-world teen-type drama that I really couldn't care any less for. There are a few moderately creepy and dark sequences in the movie but the overall product is not much different to any other mainstream horror flick out there aimed at its current generation of teens and young adults.

Friend Request isn't terrible, but it's not all that memorable either.
Friend Request (2016)
Review by Michael Mahoney

5 / 10
Throughout this film, I couldn't help but think of the A Nightmare on Elm Street remake - this movie is a generic, cookie cutter Hollywood production, just as the ANOES remake was. It had sequences similar to the remake, along with some settings not too far removed from A Nightmare on Elm Street. It also had a sucky ending, which isn't to say the rest of the film was stellar.

But let's not get overwhelmed. The story is a simple one: a strange, socially awkward girl tries to befriend Laura, but when she becomes too obsessed, Laura unfriends her from Facebook. Devastated, the girl, Marina, kills herself. And now all of Laura's friends are being killed by Marina's spirit.

Honestly, the plot's not a terrible one - there were portions I found pretty interesting. But there were also points I found extraordinarily bothersome (in short, how idiotic and incurious the authorities and Dean of the college are about the fact Laura is unable to delete specific videos on her Facebook account - instead, she's punished for something she's not able to control). Some plot points just don't make much sense.

And speaking about not making much sense, let's talk about the last twenty minutes, when one character apparently loses it and snaps. Now, I get that the situation is a stressful one, but given what we were told about this character, his actions made no sense whatsoever, and seemed to just be added to throw in another threat (which lasts all of two minutes). Oh, that reminds me, why exactly did Laura not tell her boyfriend that a previous friend was trying to kill her? Seemed like something he might need to know.

But the real end is bad also, which is a bit of a trend this film has. Laura, to end this curse, has to destroy Marina's laptop (the police never found the spot of suicide, just saw the video). But apparently, that wasn't in the cards. And at the end, it's not fully explained what happens. There are a few choices, so I guess just pick and choose how to interpret it. One more thing about the problems with the film: it ends with some atrocious dubstep song. Now, I don't dislike dubstep as much as I used to, but God, what a bad song to end the film with.

All of that said, there are some positives. Many of the actors and actresses do decently well with what they're given. And the story, despite the glaring problems throughout, actually isn't a terrible idea. Though I just remembered the CGI wasps that pop up over four times throughout the film, so any other positives are beyond me. Friend Request is Hollywood tripe. Like I said, I can't help but compare it with the A Nightmare on Elm Street remake. Both were shit products to make money off teenagers. Sad thing is it works. Friend Request has a hell of a lot of flaws, and it's certainly below average. And some people wonder why I often stick to lower-quality films. Points are given for the interesting story, such as it was.
More releases from 2016 for you to check out

The Boy (2016)

Better Watch Out (2016)

Playing with Dolls: Bloodlust (2016)

Beyond the Gates (2016)

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