Friend Request – Good, Bad & Ugly Review

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. – (Source)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 36% (Critics) / 76% (Audience)
Directed By: Simon Verhoeven
Written By: Matthew Ballen, Philip Koch, Simon Verhoeven
Starring: Alycia Debnam-Carey, William Moseley, Connor Paolo
Studio: Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures

The Good:
Alycia Debnam-Carey shines as the lead character with the bad luck of accepting a friend request from Psycho Wednesday Addams. Debnam-Carey has charisma to share as she has shown in her TV work and she makes a perfectly serviceable Final Girl in this film.
The film also serves as pretty good PSA on the dangers of allowing social media to become too ingrained in your life because these folks in FRIEND REQUEST were consumed by their social media accounts almost all the time. On the flip side it also seems to be sending a message that being nice to social awkward misfits is a waste of time because they will turn around and become obsessed occult stalkers.
And I give them a gold star for putting a new twist on the well worn cat jump scare horror trope.

The Bad:
This movie tries pretty damn hard to make me care about the doomed folks in this movie but aside from Debnam-Carey’s Laura I really didn’t give a fig about any of her friends or family. So when they all met their untimely ends all it got from me was a shrug.
Also if you have seen any J-Horror film over the past 20 or so years then you will be pretty nonplussed by every second of this movie. Originality is not its calling card.
Connor Paolo plays the most unintentionally hilarious bloodthirsty lunatic ever. He does all his crazy by trying to make his eyes bug out of his head and you can actually see the acting process when he is onscreen. Hysterical!

The Ugly:
I wish this movie made it more clear exactly what all the evil witchy shenanigans because there was no rhyme or reason to it. I have no problem believing evil demons can use Facebook to kill folks in the real world but I would like to see rules established and maintained. I am a stickler for movies like this not just thinking about what would be cool and ignoring their own rules of how dark magic works.

Final Verdict: FRIEND REQUEST tries valiantly but it never becomes more than a muddled and predictable jump scare extravaganza that doesn’t really bring any true scariness to the table aside from detailing the dangers of sharing every iota of one’s life on social media. Really liked Alycia Debnam-Carey in it though.

Grade: C-

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