‘Friend Request’ Trailer: Witches and Social Media Team Up for a Horror Movie – /FILM

A new horror movie with social media as an antagonist,Friend Request, is about one Facebook friend gone wrong. When I saw the trailer forSimon Verhoevens R-rated horror film before47 Meters Down, it was hard not to chuckle a little at the doom it spelled out when the lead unfriends what may be a witch on Facebook. Soon after a little laugh, I felt a bit bad once I realized the film involves suicide, but from the look of this trailer, it doesnt seem to take that topic too seriously.

Below, watch the new Friend Request trailer

Horror movies with suicide generally dont treat the subject with much sensitivity. After watching the first trailer forFriend Request, it felt a bit icky seeing suicide become part of what looks like a fairly run-of-the-mill horror movie. Its not something to treat lightly, but thats what horror movies often do.

But perhaps Verhoevens approach is more thoughtful than the trailers let on. The movie doesnt come out for another three weeks, so thatll be the time to accurately judge how the director and his two co-writers,Matthew BallenandPhilip Koch, handle the subject matter. One character in the trailer does suggest it might not have been suicide but a ritual.

Its taken a while for their film to reach theaters in the states; it came out in Germany on January 7, 2016.Friend Requestsdomestic release was delayed for over a year. In the film, Alycia Debnam-Carey (Fear the Walking Dead) plays Laura, a college student who unfriends a lonely classmate named Marina (Liesl Ahlers). After that mistake, Marina haunts Laura on Facebook and elsewhere.

There are parts ofIngrid Goes WestI find more horrifying than whats in the trailer forFriend Request, partially because the Aubrey Plaza-led comedy is grounded in reality and genuinely interested in exploring the negative effects of social media. WhetherFriend Request has anything to say, well see but the trailer makes it look like it doesnt have much more to offer than some jump scares. There are already a few reviews online for the film indicating thats the case, although some have praise for Verhoevens scares. Apparently, some of them are quite effective.

Another movie the trailer calls to mind is a fictional one: the cell phone horror movie that starred none other than Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) referenced in the romantic comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Like the evil phone in that film, why not just toss away the computer? Im sure thats addressed and explained inFriend Request, but the trailer for the social media horror movie looks like it couldve been a stupid fake movie.

Friend Requestcomesouttwo short weeks after the upcoming adaptation of Stephen Kings It, which is already receivingpraiseonline and is on track to make a killing at the box-office, so it will most likely have big competition from Pennywise the Dancing Clown.Friend Requestis just one of the many social media horror movies to come out these past few years. One of the more recent, and apparently better examples, being theTimur Bekmambetov-produced film calledUnfriended.Nerveis a thriller, not a horror movie, but thats another good example of a popcorn movie using social media as a force of evil.

Friend Requestopens in theatersSeptember 22, 2017.

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'Friend Request' Trailer: Witches and Social Media Team Up for a Horror Movie - /FILM

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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
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