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"Online, your memories last forever. But so do your mistakes."
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Unfriended, also known as Cybernatural, is a supernatural Horror Film released on April 17, 2015 directed by Levan Gabriadze, starring Shelley Hennig, Moses Jacob Storm, Renee Olstead, Will Peltz, Jacob Wysocki, Courtney Halverson, and Heather Sossaman. It's a unique take on the Found Footage genre, taking place on one of the character's computer screens.

The entire film is set one to two years after the death of Laura Barns, where a video was posted of her passing out drunk at a party and soiling herself. Needless to say, a lot of people ridiculed her, driving her to commit suicide. Now six students, Blaire Lily, Jess Felton, Val Rommel, Ken Smith, Adam Sewell, and Mitch Roussel (they were among the people that harassed her before she died) get together on Skype, with a seventh anonymous user posing as Laura Barns.

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At first, they think the user is a troll using a dead person's account. But they soon realize they're dealing with something worse. Something beyond the grave. If they ever log out or stop talking, they'll die. As the chat progresses, the truth about who posted the video begins to emerge and other secrets are revealed that test their friendship.

A sequel titled Unfriended: Dark Web was released in 2018.


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Unfriended contains the following tropes:

  • Actor Allusion: Ads for Teen Wolf appear in sites accessed by Blaire's laptop. Her actress, Shelly Hennig, portrayed a main character in the series. For bonus points, they advertise Season 4. The film had its premiere while said season was ongoing.
  • Adults Are Useless: The news article about Laura's suicide reveals that she tried to get help from a school counselor shortly before she killed herself, but the counselor turned her away.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg:
    • Just about everyone starts begging for their lives when the extent of Laura's power becomes apparent.
    • When "Billie227"note  begins to exact revenge, they post a screenshot on Instagram of Laura begging Val to take down the video that was getting her bullied and extending an olive branch. Val tells her to "go kill herself".
  • Ambiguous Disorder: The news article about Laura mentions that she was a special education student, suggesting that she may have been handicapped in some way. It's also possible that the bullying had gotten so vicious that it wasn't considered safe to keep her in a normal classroom.
  • Asshole Victim: Everyone. Despite Blaire's insistence in the beginning that she and her friends are good people, almost everyone is revealed to either have some involvement in the event that ended Laura's life or to have committed some other personal betrayal against other members of the social group. Even Laura is claimed to have been a bully herself before she committed suicide.
  • Big "NO!": Several of these. Notable ones are from Adam before he shoots himself and from Blaire when Laura's ghost closes her laptop and for the cherry on top, Blaire just when Laura's ghost kills her.
  • Black And Black Morality: The main characters range from just merely a jerk to really despicable. They are all incredibly unsympathetic. Even Mitch, the virgin and the most calm of the group, is revealed to have dirty secrets, such as kissing Laura Barns behind Blair's back, busting his best friend for drugs, and (possibly) posting the Laura Barns video. When it comes down to it, who really is the good-hearted one?
  • Book-Ends: The "LAURA BARNS KILL URSELF" video is played at the beginning and at the end of the film. However, whereas the first video has cruel comments directed against Laura, thus driving her to commit suicide, the second draws cruel comments directed against Blaire.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Laura killed herself by putting a bullet through her own skull, from arm's length. Later in the film, Adam dies the same way.
  • Break the Haughty: The four main characters who participate in the "Never Have I Ever" game: Blaire, Mitch, Adam, and Jess, get their psyches completely broken down by the end of it. They are also revealed to be shameless two-faced jerks. Meanwhile, Ken and Val are killed before Laura can break them, though they're not shown to be nice people either.
  • Break Them by Talking: Laura's MO is to tear down her victims psychologically through the chat log of their shared call. It is only after their psyches have been sufficiently weakened that she moves in for the kill — and she often simply leads the conversation so the teens break themselves first by exposing each other's lies.
  • Bring It: Adam taunts Laura to come get him while brandishing a gun when she switches off their lights.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Blaire seems genuinely shocked and distraught to see her own face behind the camera that filmed the embarrassing video of Laura. Just moments earlier, she described what happened between her and Laura as "drifting apart", only for Laura to ask if that's how she remembers it.
  • Cat Scare:
    • Near the end of the film, after the lights go out in Blaire and Mitch's rooms, a very loud noise makes Blaire scream. It's an alarm reminding her that she has a test tomorrow.
    • Earlier in the film, we hear a very loud slam a short bit after Blaire takes forever to open up the Instagram pic that led to Laura's suicide. It's immediately revealed to come from a very impatient Ken, who tells her to "Click the fucking link, dude!"
  • Chekhov's Gun: Ken's blender, Adam's gun, Jess' hair straightener, and Mitch's knife are used by Laura kill them (and for bonus points, Adam gesticulates with his gun for a long time before Laura forces him to kill himself). In addition, Blaire's webcam sometimes shows shots of her bedroom door. Laura emerges to kill her from that door.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: During the 'never have I ever' game, a good chunk of the dialogue is just 'fuck this' and 'fuck you guys!' coming from all sides, understandable given the situation they're in.
  • Country Matters: Most of the dialogue in the beginning of the skype call throws the word around, especially in a video Laura made before her suicide where she calls all of her bullies "sorry cunts".
  • Creepy Uncle: Though not explicitly stated, Blaire tries to tell Mitch that Laura was abused, perhaps sexually, by her uncle. The implications are there, even if she can't bring herself to complete the sentence.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Most of the deaths turn out to be this. Val drinks bleach and suffers seizures on top of that, Ken gets his hand shoved into a blender, then his throat cut open with said blender's blades, Jess gets a hair straightener shoved down her throat, and Mitch headbutts a knife through his eye. Except for Adam, who is only forced by Laura's ghost to shoot himself with his father's gun, and Blaire, whom the audience does not know what happens to.
  • Darkness = Death: Jess and Blaire both die in the dark.
  • Date Rape: It's implied that Adam is guilty of this. During a heated argument, Mitch accuses him of slipping a roofie in his classmate's drink and later forcing said classmate to get an abortion.
  • Deadly Game: Laura's version of Never Have I Ever, in which "the loser doesn't drink, the loser dies".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Laura manages to be this from the grave, often mocking the characters' various reactions to her.
  • Death by Irony: Laura kills all of them based on their personal attachments.
    • Val is outed as a major stoner, hardcore partier, and is revealed to have told Laura to "kill herself" when Laura asked her for help, so she forces Val to kill herself by drinking bleach.
    • Ken brags about his blender full of salsa before he blends himself to death with it.
    • Adam drunkenly flashes his gun, threatening Laura. After Blaire disobeyed Laura's rules, Adam is forced to kill himself with it.
    • Jess was introduced whilst straightening her hair. Laura's poltergeist kills her by shoving the hot straightener down her throat.
    • Mitch used a hunting knife to flirt with Blaire at the beginning of the film and Laura forces him to stab himself in the eye with it after Blaire reveals that Mitch uploaded the video as a bargaining chip for her life.
    • Blaire, who valued her secrets and her good girl image, is psychologically tortured by watching all of her friends die first and having all her dirty secrets get exposed, as she's outed as a horrible person who drove their best friend to commit suicide by the end of the film. And then Laura personally kills her.
  • Desecrating the Dead: Jess did this to Laura's grave.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Laura was bullied and subsequently committed suicide. Bad, yes, but not bad enough to warrant Cruel and Unusual Death for those that contributed to her bullying. Ken in particular, whose only apparent crime is being friends with the perpetrators and saying that since Laura was a bully too, she got a taste of her own medicine. The news article about her suicide adds another layer. It's noted that Laura had attempted suicide years earlier due to being bullied for an eating disorder. It's possible that she started out by retaliating against people who had harassed her, but took it overboard, leading others to see her as the bully.
  • Downer Ending: By the end of the film, the only characters left alive are the police officer discovering Val's dead body, the various people Blaire encounters on ChatRoulette, and the police officer that was sent to Jess's house, with the help of someone on Chatroulette. None of the main characters survive and nobody, save for Laura, benefits from the events of the story.
  • Drinking Game: Laura adapts the popular drinking game "Never Have I Ever" to get the characters to confess to things they've done. The kicker? The loser doesn't drink, the loser dies.
  • Driven to Suicide: Laura Barns kills herself three days after a humiliating video is posted, unable to handle the sheer amount of harassment. Laura's poltergeist comes back to force all of her friends, who had a part in her bullying and subsequent suicide, to commit suicide.
  • Drone of Dread: When there is a soundtrack to the film, it consists of this.
  • Dwindling Party: The film begins with five friends sharing a voice chat, joined by a sixth not too far in. However, as the film progresses and characters start to die off, it slowly dwindles to one. Then none.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: The fact that Laura and Blaire were once best friends since childhood makes Blaire's role in the bullying into a cruel betrayal.
    Laura: I wish I could forgive you, Blaire.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Val's dog barks agitatedly at several points as the group interact with Billie227.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Of course Laura Barns is one half, being an evil vengeful poltergeist, not to mention the hints that she was a Mean Girls-like Alpha Bitch. But most of the Skype victims prove to be just as evil to Laura (all of them made anonymous online accounts to bully her, Jess desecrated her grave, Val told her to kill herself after Laura begged her for help, etc.) and to each other. Laura Barns is even a victim, as the video reveals that her best friend, Blaire, took the video that led to her committing suicide and had her boyfriend Mitch upload the video.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Naturally, as the film is also an example of Real Time. The film is only 83 minutes long, at least five minutes of which is credits.
  • Eye Scream: Mitch headbutts a knife into his eye.
  • Fall Guy: Mitch used Adam as this when they were selling weed. Blaire also let Jess get blamed for crashing her mother's car, and pins the blame for the video on Mitch, allowing him to be killed to save herself.
  • Final Girl: Blaire initially appears to meet all the criteria — virginal, less obnoxious than her female friends, and conventionally attractive but not quite gorgeous, but as the film progresses, she falls short of one hallmark after another. She does make it to the end as the last character standing, but that only means she dies last.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The first thing we see in the film is Blaire watching Laura's suicide video, then casually pivoting into a normal conversation with Mitch. Of particular note is when Mitch tells her she sounds down, and Blaire denies it, saying she's "great."
    • In the beginning of the film, after Laura's poltergeist adds Jess, Adam, and Ken into Blaire and Mitch's private Skype chat, both Blaire and Mitch seem to receive a weird message from Laura's social media pages. Given that the others are all seen in the background, on their phones themselves, and chatting happily while Blaire and Mitch text each other, it's safe to assume that the others didn't get a similar message from her. This becomes important at the end of the film, when we learn that Blaire shot the video that led to Laura's suicide and Mitch uploaded it.
    • Blaire is a normal, upper-middle-class teenage girl, who one would expect to be technologically savvy. However, multiple instances and dialogue from characters in the film suggest that she is notoriously not very good at understanding basic internet/computer functions. This foreshadows that in order to have posted the embarrassing video, she would have needed help. Her accomplice turns out to be Mitch.
    • When Mitch mentions that it's the anniversary of Laura's suicide, Blaire's only response is "...and what?" At first, it seems she's just asking how that's relevant, but the larger point is why she isn't more upset to be reminded of that fact.
    • After Blaire tries to memorialize Laura's account, everything in the editing section reads "I GOT HER I GOT HER I GOT HER I GOT HER..." At the end, when we see Blaire recording a passed-out Laura, Blaire giggles and says "I got her!"
    • There are quite a few pictures of Blaire and Laura together on their Facebook page. They're smiling in a lot of them, but Blaire's grin is noticeably more sinister-looking...
    • When Adam is first introduced, he makes a comment about how Mitch and Blaire are "so cute together." His tone of voice sounds quite flirtatious, with the implication that he might be attracted to her. It's later revealed that the two of them had sex twice.
      • Additionally, when everyone else is added to the call, Adam's camera view remains next to Blaire's in the Skype screen, and even replaces Mitch's a few times...
      • Doubling as a Freeze-Frame Bonus, check out Blaire's past emails, preferably when she downloads the Trojan remover. One of them is from Adam. It says "also, mitch is a great guy but I am WAY better."
    • When Blaire is flirting with Mitch at the start, he says jokingly that he'd die for her. Blaire herself sees to that.
    • Jess jokes that good girl Blaire would go to hell like everyone else after being caught about to have cybersex with Mitch. This hints towards the fact that Blaire will not make it out of the film alive and will be cut down for her sins like everyone else.
    • The fact that the screengrab perspective is through Blaire's screen should be an indication that she's the last one to die, since each friend's Skype connection ends when they are killed.
    • When Val gets upset about something Laura sent her, Blaire is visibly more nervous than the others, and immediately starts demanding to know what Laura sent her. The others don't seem as interested. Then when Laura sends Blaire the link, she hesitates for a long time before opening it. This is probably because Blaire is worried that it might be something that incriminates her.
    • There are quite a few points where Blaire's expression doesn't seem appropriate to the situation. When Mitch sends her the video Laura made where she calls out her bullies, Blaire's face is oddly blank, given that she's watching something her best friend made right before killing herself. It's rather glaring even on a first viewing.
    • Jess is seen straightening her hair at the beginning of the film; she is eventually killed by Laura forcing a hot flat iron down her throat.
    • Adam, drunken and angry, pulls a gun out halfway through the film to threaten Laura's poltergeist. Laura later forces him to shoot himself with it.
    • When it's revealed that someone offered to trade Jess's life for theirs, Adam tries to convince the others that Blaire would do such a thing. Blaire later trades Adam's life for Mitch's.
    • Ken shows the group a blender of salsa he mixed at the beginning of the film; he is later killed by Laura by being forced to shove his hand into the running blender and use the blades to slit his own throat.
    • Mitch jokingly threatens Blair with a knife at the beginning of the film to get her to strip; he is later killed by Laura by being forced to shove said knife through his eye.
    • Another doubling as a Freeze-Frame Bonus: just before Val's feed cuts out, an arm, definitely not belonging to the police officer, suddenly lunges down from above camera. It looks like much the same arms that slams Blaire's laptop shut at the end.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The poster invokes this by making it look like the viewer is googling Laura's death.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The news article about Laura's death contains a lot of information, such as the fact that she was a special education student, had been bullied for an eating disorder, and attempted suicide before. It also says that the school is being investigated for ignoring the bullying until she killed herself.
    • Another example is a blink and you'll miss it kind. When Blaire is trying to run the anti-trojan program Ken gives to them, she is going through her different browser tabs and windows. One of them shows the different pictures she saved on her hard drive. One of those pictures is titled, "Fallen Angel...- Woman.jpg". This foreshadows Blaire, who has the reputation of a good, honest, girl, falling from grace by the end of the film.
  • Freudian Excuse: Laura is said to have been a bully herself when she was alive, but if you pause the screen when Blaire reads her obituary, not only has she dealt with eating disorders her whole life, she had also attempted suicide before and it's heavily implied she was abused by her uncle.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Val, since none of the other friends were too keen on having her in the chat and they initially suspected her of pranking them through Laura's account. That said, all of them are concerned for her after the police arrive at her house following her "suicide".
  • Friendship-Straining Competition: When the ghost of Laura Barns decides to force the friends to play "Never Have I Ever", with the loser dying, she asks questions designed to sever their friendships. These questions expose how everyone in the group had betrayed another friend at some point, leading to arguing, tears, and Adam becoming furious enough to start asking questions himself to make Blaire put down more fingers.
  • Get It Over With: Near the end of the movie, Mitch all but says this word for word.
  • G.I.F.T.: Cyber-bullying is a major theme of the film, which is exploited by Laura in the chat, using everyone's dirty secrets to have them turn on each other. This includes whoever posted the video of her, entitled "LAURA BARNS KILL URSELF" which turns out to be Mitch, as revealed by Blaire.
  • Haunted Technology: "billie227"note  can invade pretty much any communications device.
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • The faint static tickering noises whenever Laura's spirit prepares to respond to Blaire.
    • Whenever the spirit is angered or is seconds away from making someone commit suicide, a deep rumbling noise begins to rise, almost to a point where it's deafening. Then it abruptly stops, and you just know something horrific is about to happen.
  • Here We Go Again!: Near the end of the film, Laura posts the unedited version of her drunk video on her Facebook page. It quickly draws negative comments directed against Blaire, just as the same video (albeit edited) had attracted negative comments against Laura, showing that the cycle of bullying will never end.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Laura's Facebook memorial reveals that she once saved a little boy from drowning.
  • Hollywood Web Cam: Averted. It's a surprisingly realistic depiction of Skype, with lag, out-of-sync audio, and wi-fi problems. Even the compression artifacts on the characters' faces add to the film's creepy atmosphere a great deal.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Early in the film, Ken shares an antivirus program with each of the characters who run it on their respective laptops, which briefly appears to stop Laura. Ken dies shortly afterwards.
    • When Jess is in danger and locks herself in the bathroom, Blaire tries to get someone to help her by going to Chat Roulette to try to get someone to call the police for them. After various failed attempts, she finds a woman from Nevada who takes her seriously and doesn't hesitate to help her. The woman manages to contact the police, who say they will be at Jess's house in five minutes. Laura kills Jess immediately after Blaire assures Jess that the police are on their way.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: By the end of the film, Blaire is reduced to a broken, sobbing mess, complete with snot running out of her nose.
  • Informed Attribute: According to Ken, Laura was a bully herself, but the only evidence we see of that is a brief clip of her picking a fight with Val at the party (which she tried to apologize for). In fact, the news article about her suicide quotes her as saying she was sick of being bullied years earlier for an eating disorder, which led to a suicide attempt. Ken doesn't have the moral high ground either, since he and his friends viciously cyberbullied her in return.
  • In-Series Nickname: Jessica "Jess" Felton and Valerie "Val" Rommel.
  • Instant Humiliation: Just Add YouTube!: Played seriously as Laura Barns is Driven to Suicide by the humiliating video of her having soiled herself after passing out that is posted online (and the subsequent website that was set up telling her to kill herself).
  • Interface Screw: In-universe example. Laura terrorizes the members of the Skype call by interfering with the normal functions of Skype, various websites, and their computers.
  • Irony: Blaire's Facebook page has a bunch of pictures of herself and Laura as kids, captioned, "How do you know when someone is a true friend? These photos prove it!" It's dripping with irony, considering what Blaire did to her.
  • It Doesn't Mean Anything: Blaire takes this approach when her fling with Adam is exposed. Mitch calls her on it, telling her that saying that doesn't make it better.
  • Jerkass: Every one of these teenagers are selfish, horrible people who don't care who they backstab, even on their friends, and don't think about the consequences of their actions. Blaire, Mitch, and Laura may have a characteristic that gives them a Hidden Heart of Gold moment, but it doesn't exactly make up for who they are.
  • Jump Scare:
    • Several of the deaths are depicted like this, with the victim's webcam eerily shutting off before brief shots of their gory deaths appear onscreen accompanied by sudden loud noises and the other characters screaming.
    • After Blaire is revealed to be the one who created Laura's embarrassing video, the movie ends with Blaire's laptop being suddenly closed by Laura's ghost, who comes out of the darkness and attacks Blaire from her POV.
  • "Just Joking" Justification: When Laura reveals that Blaire and her friends all took part in the cyberbullying, Blaire claims they didn't mean any of it and were just going along with everyone else. It comes off as a lame excuse, which should hint that Blaire is being less than candid.
  • Karmic Death: Adam's death can be interpreted as one, as it's inflicted by gunshot; the same way Laura killed herself. Despite the similarities, though, it comes about less from poetic justice and more from being the most convenient murder method available.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Laura is revealed to have tried to have apologized to Val after the bullying started....only for Val to tell her to take her own life.
    • Blaire's laugh after she caught Laura drunk, pissing, and shitting herself is also pretty bad.
  • Kill ’Em All: The only people from the Skype chat who don't wind up dead are a police officer observing Val's dead body and a woman on chatroulette who helps Blaire call the police for Jess.
  • Logo Joke: The 2012 Universal Pictures logo flickers and lags with compression artifacts like it was being shown over a lagging internet connection, and then fades out with an eerie sound effect.
  • Madness Mantra: One of the early signs that something is seriously wrong is when Blaire attempts to memorialize Laura's Facebook account, only for the text boxes to suddenly change to the phrase "I GOT HER" repeated over and over again ad infinitum. The significance of this is only revealed at the end, with the Wham Shot that Blaire herself filmed the embarrassing video of Laura, laughing "I got her!" at the camera.
  • Make It Look Like A Suicide: How Laura kills her victims, by possessing them and forcing them to take their own life.
  • Minimalist Cast: The vast majority of the film features only seven characters, set on a Skype conference call.
  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: Of the "One Big Lie" type, albeit one where the lie is explicitly supernatural in origin. The technology and social media in the film are presented exactly as they existed in 2014-15, such that, when they starts diverging from such, that is a clue that Laura is affecting the proceedings.
  • Moral Myopia:
    • Every one of the Skype users get indignant and furious every time they find out they were betrayed by one of their so-called friends, always ignoring the large amount of backstabbing that they in turn committed in the past.
    • Laura herself also suffers from some of this. She calls the Skype users 'awful people' and condemns Blaire for betraying her. Yet she herself was a bully, and during the drinking game it is revealed that she tried to have sex with Blaire's boyfriend a year before.
  • Never My Fault: In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, whilst Mitch is yelling at Adam after outing him as a rapist who forced his victim to get an abortion not long after (or so it is implied), Adam claims that said victim - classmate - was lying.
    • Borders on being Blaire's Fatal Flaw. She refuses to admit to filming the video even when there's good evidence to suggest that Laura would let everyone go if she did.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer shows a couple of deaths that didn't happen in the movie such as Adam getting hit by a car and someone jumping off a building. It also shows footage of a not dead Laura holding signs such as "You're all going to Hell".
  • Nightmare Face: The very last shot of the film has Laura's twisted, almost demonic visage lunging at the camera.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • The setup to Ken's death invokes this. Laura's feed suddenly starts displaying a hidden camera somewhere, which turns out to be Ken's living room, right behind him. When he realizes this, he starts looking for it, and when he finds it...well, the look on his face strongly implies that it's not just a camcorder sitting there. Whatever it is, we can only guess at before we cut to black, then Ken's violent death.
    • The audience doesn't see exactly what happens to Blaire at the end of the film, but it certainly doesn't look promising.
  • Oh, Crap!: Blaire has a subtle but nevertheless noticeable one when Laura posts memes showing her and Adam having sex. This is probably the moment where she realizes that her supposed good girl image is not going to protect her through the night. Judging by the others' reactions, they probably see the same too, just with their own secrets.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: At the end of the film, Laura's poltergeist posts and replays the full, unedited video that caused her to kill herself, this time with the Wham Shot at the end revealing that Blaire filmed it on her Facebook.
  • The Oner: The film is designed to give the impression of being a single uninterrupted screen recording of Blaire's laptop (until the last 5 to 6 seconds when Laura slams the laptop shot and the remainder of the film is from Blaire's perspective). It's not, however, a POV shot, as the camera perspective is static while Blaire often looks, and even moves around the room.
  • Only Sane Man: Mitch seems to be the only one that actually takes Billie227 seriously, and isn't convinced that the threat has been eliminated first when Val enters the call and then when Ken runs his program and the user disappears from the Skype chat.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: At first, Laura Barns was on the receiving end of it, since it's implied she bullied and antagonized others before her death. Now, her vengeful spirit does the same to those who claimed to be her friends.
  • Potty Failure: Laura's video reveals that she not only drunkenly passed out, but also shat and pissed herself very badly, with a close-up view of the mess, excrement, and period blood in full view.
  • Product Placement: All over the place. You got Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, and Google. Hell, this film entirely takes place on a Skype conference call from a screencast on Blaire's Macbook.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Laura kills her victims by possessing them and forcing them to kill themselves in varying grotesque ways.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: The largely improvised dialogue succeeds in capturing the rhythms of a Skype conference call.
  • Real Time: The entire film takes place in the same length of time as its runtime. It's presented as one continuous web session, most of which is spent on a Skype call. There are no time skips, not even minor ones.
  • Revenge: Over the course of the film, the vengeful spirit of Laura Barns gets even with those who uploaded the video of her to the internet and bullied her into suicide.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The cyberbullying premise was inspired in part by the suicide of teenagers such as Amanda Todd.
  • Sadistic Choice: Or a variation of it, anyway. In the midst of the fighting caused by Laura's "Never Have I Ever" game, Blaire and Adam are faxed almost-identical notes that say: "If you reveal this message, (Adam/Blaire) will die." Blaire ends up revealing hers to stop Mitch from breaking up with her and hanging upnote , resulting in Adam's death.
  • Say My Name: Blaire softly whispers "Laura?" when Blaire is left alone in the dark with her laptop closed right before she is killed.
  • Shirtless Scene: Mitch at the start. There's also Adam in the middle, when his and Blaire's sex tape is revealed.
  • Shout-Out: The main protagonist's name, Blaire, is a possible reference to The Blair Witch Project, widely considered the Trope Codifier for modern found footage films.
  • Shown Their Work: The film's portrayal of the internet and social media (circa 2013-2015, at least) is virtually spot-on, but particularly notable is the scene where Blaire watches the video of Laura Barns' suicide. YouTube has a very strict policy on videos depicting real-life death and "gratuitous violence"note , so Blaire wouldn't be able to find the video there... so instead, she watches it on LiveLeak, a lesser-known site that does host such videos in the name of free speech, which 90% of the audience probably hasn't heard of.
  • Slasher Smile: Rather unsettlingly, Blaire gives one to the camera while filming Laura.
  • Slut-Shaming:
    • Laura does this to Blaire by displaying a pop-up ad for a "cam site" on her screen. Along with the usual clips of girls seductively teasing and stripping for the camera, it also has shots of Blaire from the beginning of the film when she was seducing Mitch over Skype.
    • Val is slutshamed by Laura, by posting an unseen nude taken from her snapchat.
  • Sock Puppet: Several of Laura's classmates created fake Google accounts in order to anonymously harass her. Including all of her friends, which is why she kills them one by one.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance:
    • Laura likes to mess with Blaire's Spotify account by forcing her to listen to an upbeat song with ironically appropriate lyrics.
    • The positive hip-hop song that plays over the end credits, immediately following Blaire's Jump Scare of a death and the dark, brooding song "Ghost in My Head".
  • Space Whale Aesop: Cyberbullying will lead to someone committing suicide, which will then lead to that person's spirit tormenting those who bullied him/her, which will then lead to the spirit exacting revenge by brutally having them kill themselves.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: Ken personally voices his opinion on Laura's suicide, feeling no sympathy whatsoever and pointing out that she was a huge bully herself.
  • Speed Sex: To quote Blaire after her secret regarding her relationship with Adam is exposed:
    Blaire: You wouldn't even know! It only lasted like a second!
  • Suicide Dare: Val is revealed to have done this to Laura.
  • Take Our Word for It: The audience doesn't see exactly what Ken saw when he found the source of the webcam feed in his room, but judging by his reaction, it wasn't pleasant.
  • Teens Are Monsters: The cast is self-involved, using anonymity to treat others rather horribly. The villain is also an example, being a revenge-obsessed Alpha Bitch.
  • Their First Time: Subverted. At the beginning of the film, Blaire tells Mitch she wants to lose her virginity with him on prom night. She later confesses she'd had sex twice with Adam months earlier.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: "I wish I could forgive you, Blaire."
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Blaire and Mitch play dumb throughout the film on who posted the video, even though Laura demonstrated that she knows all of their secrets, forcing her to pry the truth out of them. In the end, even after reading that the only way to survive is to confess her sins, Blaire still adamantly refuses to acknowledge her involvement as the cameraperson until Laura posts the unedited video on her Facebook, revealing it to the world and marking the end of Blaire's last chance for redemption. Death follows immediately after.
    • Also counts for Blaire in general. She constantly displays a lack of understanding of how a computer works. She even acts confused when an error shows up that says a torrented episode of SNL is playing, and it's in the BACKGROUND. Somehow, she doesn't notice it. Sadly, the rest of the audience does.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailer gives away Ken and Adam's deaths as well as Blaire cheating on her boyfriend.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Laura puts Blaire through this. She starts off by harassing her and her friends, then murdering her friends one by one and making Blaire watch, then finally posting the truth about the video that led to Laura's bullying and suicide onto Blaire's Facebook page, causing everyone she knows to turn against her before she finally kills her.
  • Troll: Laura is a bit a prankster as well — most of the comic relief comes from her mockery, such as playing upbeat songs with ironically appropriate lyrics on Blaire's Spotify.
  • Understatement: Blaire claims that she and Laura were best friends until they "drifted apart." That doesn't quite sum it up, and Laura can't believe that she would describe it that way.
  • Unreliable Narrator: On a second viewing, it's fairly clear that you can't trust that Blaire is telling the truth at any point.
  • Verbed Title. Unfriended is a past tense verb.
  • Weight Woe: Jess confesses that she started a rumour that Blaire suffered from an eating disorder.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Unlike the others, Blaire used to be best friends with Laura since childhood, but Blaire claims they drifted apart. She was the one who filmed the video that caused her all the misery.
  • Wham Shot: The last few seconds of the Laura video reveal that it was Blaire who shot it.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Even when all her friends are gone and there's no one left to hear her dark secret, Blaire continues to deny that she recorded and posted the video, proving that she's ultimately either a self-centered craven coward at heart, or an utter sociopath who refuses to take responsibility for her actions.
  • With Friends Like These...: The main characters are supposed to be friends, but all of them are pretty rotten to one another.
    • Val is The Friend Nobody Likes and is badmouthed behind her back by the rest of the cast.
    • Mitch called the cops on Adam for selling pot implicitly to save his own skin, an action that strained the latter's relationship with his father.
    • Adam had sex with his best friend's girlfriend twice and was willing to trade Jess' life to save his own.
    • Jess spread a false rumor about Blaire, claiming the latter had an eating disorder, and stole $800 from Adam.
    • Blaire twice cheated on Mitch with his best friend, crashed Jess' mother's car, threw both Adam and Mitch under the bus to save herself, betrayed her best friend, Laura, by recording the video that prompted her suicide in the first place, and participated in the cyber-bullying that led to Laura's suicide.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Laura is a vengeful, angry Internet ghost striking out against all the people whose psychotic cyber-bullying campaign drove her to suicide.

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