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Film / Unfriended: Dark Web

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Unfriended: Dark Web is a found footage Horror Film and a stand alone sequel to the 2014 film Unfriended. It shares no characters or plot elements with the first, apart from the basic format of everything unfolding on a computer screen.

A young man takes a new laptop from a lost-and-found bin, and finds a cache of secret files on it. While on a video call with his friends, he discovers the disturbing nature of the files—and that the previous owner, a user of the deep web, is watching him and will do anything to get the laptop back.

The film stars Colin Woodell, Betty Gabriel, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Andrew Lees, Connor Del Rio, Stephanie Nogueras and Savira Windyani and is directed by Stephen Susco.

It was released on July 20th, 2018.

Previews: Trailer.

Unfriended: Dark Web contains examples of:

  • Artifact of Doom: A rare non supernatural example. The laptop the protagonist finds serves as this.
  • Asshole Victim: Averted, in contrast to the first film, none of the characters in this one did anything to deserve their deaths and torture at the hands of the Charons, except Mathias taking an abandoned laptop. And this was something that the Charons actually wanted to happen.
  • Ax-Crazy: The Circle, if the members that are seen are of any indication are a cadre of sociopathic sadists who commit torture and murder for shits and giggles. Nothing about their behaviour fits the definitions of sanity and humanity whatsoever.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The theatrical versions of the movie end with Mathias dying or about to die while the Circle get away with their scheme.
  • Basement-Dweller: AJ lives in the basement of his mother's house to cement how much of a dork he is compared to his friends.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In one of the alternative endings the Charons vote for Matias and Amaya’s survival but everyone else is still dead and the Charons are still at large.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The Circle, a cult of sadistic hackers that kidnap girls and exchange videos of their tortures for crypto-currency.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Charon IV at first appears to be as much of a victim as Matias and his friends, only killing the people selected by the Circle because otherwise they'd kill him. However, this is revealed at the end to be part of the Circle's game, and Charon IV does everything completely willingly.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Interesting case. There are a Black girl and an Asian girl among the main cast. The Black girl doesn't die until later, but the Asian is the first one to die and make it clear to the rest of the cast that their situation is serious.
  • Body Horror: If you didn't know about trepannation before, this movie gladly explains it to you. We get an unpleasant visual of Erica with a huge hole in her forehead as a result of the procedure.
  • Buried Alive: The fate of Matias in one of the endings.
  • Chekhov's Gun: AJ makes a point of showing off his new speakers in the first act. It gets used in the third...
  • Chekhov's Skill: Or a lack of one. At the beginning of the movie, Amaya calls out Matias for not learning ASL better. This comes back in one of the endings where Matias is buried alive and with the Circle interfering with his normal text and visual communications, his lack of knowledge means he can't tell Amaya that he's right beneath her feet.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: AJ is one with his own online radio show and is heard several times annoying his friends with unwanted rants on giant tech companies like Facebook. The hackers piece together phrases from several of his diatribes and other audio recordings to make a fake call to the police, who storm his home and kill him, thinking he was an armed terrorist who was about to carry out a shooting at a mall.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: The Big Bad of the first film was a vengeful ghost who'd been Driven to Suicide, the main villain of this film is a psychopathic, but seemingly mundane (if having considerable resources) Darkweb criminal who is after the Main Characters to cover his tracks and to sate his own sadism.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: To name one particular example, Serena's mother's life support is taken offline, Nari is shoved in front of an oncoming subway train, and Serena herself is killed off-screen purely because Serena didn't want to be forced to choose which one would live.
  • Destroy the Evidence: Part of why the laptop owner wants it back, as if those videos got to the authorities he and everyone he supplies would be hunted down by every major police power in the world.
  • Dirty Cop: During the movie's closing we find out that the cop who killed AJ apparently by mistake was actually one of the Circle's member and killed AJ voluntarily. Then again he could have been one of the Circle pretending to be a cop
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Damon shows The Circle he has evidence against them. He dies after The Circle tracks him down, stages his fake suicide, and writes out a fake confession that frames him and the rest of the group with the evidence he collected.
  • Downer Ending: Possibly even more so than the first movie. The Circle frames Matias and his friends for everything on the laptop, and they stage Damon's death as a suicide after writing a fake confession. Matias's friends are dead, and in one ending, he is left buried alive in a coffin right beneath Amaya, with no way of telling her where he is as he is doomed to suffocate while the Charons tauntingly watch him succumb to his fate. In another, Matias has been run over by a van while Amaya's fate has been left ambiguous after getting jumped at an abandoned warehouse, though it's implied she died or worse.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Charon IV's modified voice makes him sound like it.
  • Fan Disservice: The girls in the laptop videos are barely dressed some of the time, but unless the viewer is a sadist there's absolutely no enticement towards arousal.
  • Forced to Watch: The Main Characters who find the laptop are forced to stay in their call under threat of them and their loved ones being tortured or killed.
  • Foreshadowing: The way Lexx, the first victim, is killed. They stage it to look like a suicide, recorded off the cellphone of a random person passing by. The ending reveals that the whole thing was a setup to frame Matias (or anyone who took the abandoned laptop at internet cafe) and his friends for the horrible snuff crimes they committed and make it look like they all committed suicide out of guilt.
  • For the Evulz: While The Charons make a quite large sum of money from their snuff movies, they also enjoy a lot what they do. The money seems just like a bonus to them.
  • Hate Sink: If the Charons' dirty business doesn't make you hate them, then the fact that they force Serena to chose between the lives of Nari and her mother and kill both of them when she refuses to pick certainly does.
  • The Heavy: Charon IV, the owner of the laptop, is the most active member of the Circle and the main threat to the protagonists; also the only one who directly interacts with Matias. Charon I given his nickname could be the Big Bad even if we never met him in person.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Just like in the previous movie, a low continuous droning noise is heard whenever Norah or the Circle are preparing something insidious, with the noise stopping in many cases moments before things go pear-shaped. There is also a distinct "DUNN!" sound that plays when the villains contact Matias and his friends over The River, and corrupted versions of usual DM sounds when they contact Matias over Facebook.
  • Hollywood Hacking: The hackers are somehow able to obscure their features with visual glitches and artifacting during live video that operates more like a magical Invisibility Cloak than anything resembling real-world hacking.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: The plot seems to start out this way, with the laptop's owner holding the lives of our main characters as hostages to get his highly incriminating property back. It devolves from there, however, as the teen's chat is turned into another video for the sadists to enjoy watching innocent people get tortured.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: AJ's new speakers ultimately lead to his undoing.
  • Karma Houdini: The Circle gets away with their heinous crimes as they frame Matias and his friends for them.
  • MacGuffin: The laptop, which is full of illegal videos of everything from murder, to torture, to rape and every sick and twisted thing in between.
  • Manipulative Editing: What led to AJ's death. The Charons stage a 911 phone call using audio clips from his videos to make it sound like he is plotting a mall shooting, causing a swarm of officers to show up at his house to gun him down.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Subverted. The Circle's methods are mundane, but one could be forgiven for thinking they had preternatural abilities at their disposal, given the Ominous Visual Glitch that accompanies their appearances, the way they seem to appear out of thin air in some videos, and the supernatural premise of the previous film.
  • Multiple Endings: The movie had two different endings in different theaters, with an additional two being only available on the DVD. It's notable for being the first wide release movie since Clue to do this.
  • The film is about a group of friends stumbling upon an online Snuff Film racket and being subjected to this, with all of their deaths being broadcast live through the dark web. The ending reveals that people were even taking bets on who would die first and what would happen as they died.
  • Never Suicide: Lexx is thrown off of a building by one of the Circle in a staged suicide. Damon is hanged in his room by one of the hackers, shortly after said hacker writes a fake suicide note explaining why he "killed himself."
    • Nari's death is a bit more complex. The Circle member attacks her on the subway platform and in the ensuing struggle they both tumble onto the tracks and get run over by the incoming train. The audience knows it was a murder, however a casual observer or investigator reviewing the incident who doesn't know of the Circle's existence might be forgiven for thinking the Circle member was just a good samaritan trying to stop Nari from jumping onto the tracks and became an unfortunate casualty trying to foil her suicide bid. Adding to the confusion, it's likely the Circle member didn't expect her to put up a resistance which would lead to their death as well.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: Norah and the other members of the Circle create visual glitches on webcams when they appear, obscuring their identities.
  • Police Are Useless: Averted, as the owners of the laptop make sure to let the group know that contacting the police or running will ensure their deaths, and they make good on their promise by killing off one of them as an example.
  • Recorded Spliced Conversation: The Charons take snippets from AJ's web videos and splice them together to create a message saying "I am sick of the corruption. I'm going to take my store of firearms and explosives to the mall and have some fun." They then call 911 and play this message.
  • Sadistic Choice: Serena is forced to choose who the Charons will kill, Nari or her mom. She can't make the choice, so all three of them end up dying.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: 'Norah C', the owner of the Facebook account linked to Matias' new laptop, is 'Charon' spelled backwards.
  • Shovel Strike: In one of the endings, Matias is knocked unconscious with a shovel before being Buried Alive.
  • Sick and Wrong: The reactions of the friends once they figure out the stuff on the laptop isn't fake.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: The videos on the laptop are of kidnapped girls being tortured for the viewers' enjoyment.
  • The Sociopath: Charon IV and the rest of the Circle. A gang of remorseless serial killers involved in a snuff movies racket with no valuable of human life who apparently see people as just toys to play with for their own sick fun.
  • Take a Third Option: When Serena is forced to choose between saving her mother or saving Nari, she's too traumatized to choose and doesn't pick either of them. The hackers respond by killing all three of them.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": The laptop's password is a single question mark, which is also the listed name of the user, which is how Matias easily breaks into it. Justified in that Charon IV wants the intended victim to be able to access the laptop. In the same vein, despite being a criminal who is savvy enough to access the reaches of the dark web, Charon IV's profiles are set up for an automatic login; but this too facilitates Matias getting drawn deeper into the game.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The owner of a laptop with videos of enough crimes to put him away for several hundred life sentences without parole (and possibly the death penalty depending on what jurisdiction he ends up in) just forgets it in a public cyber cafe. It's later revealed that this was done deliberately so the owner and the hackers he works with could frame Matias and his friends for all the murders the owner committed.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Lexx being pushed off of a rooftop and Serena’s mom’s life support being cut off are shown in some of the trailers.
  • Truth in Television: The act of "SWAT'ing" (making a fake emergency call to sic the police on someone) depicted is doubly impactful when you consider that the previous year before this movie was released a man was killed in Wichita, Kansas in a similar incident.
  • Villain Respect: In the third ending while the Circle is voting on whether Matias and Amaya should live or not, Charon IX replays the video of Matias attempting to extort the group with their own money in exchange for Amaya and missing girl Erica to be let go. This impresses the Circle enough that they decide to let the two live.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The fate of Kelly is left up in the air. Subverted with Charon IV, who disappears during the third act, but is later briefly seen in the ending as one of the many hackers smugly smiling over successfully killing Matias and his friends.

"Please! Just leave us alone!"