Friend Request, film review: an unpleasant and manipulative affair

It is hard to work out whether this is intended as a satire on "internet addiction disorder" or a Grand Guignol horror movie

Geoffrey Macnab
Wednesday 20 April 2016 15:01
Comments
Alycia Debnam-Carey in Friend Request
Alycia Debnam-Carey in Friend Request

Years ago, director Simon Verhoeven’s father Michael Verhoeven picked up an Oscar nomination for a film called The Nasty Girl. Following his dad’s example, Verhoeven Jnr’s Friend Request is about a very nasty girl indeed - a college student called Marina (Liesl Ahlers) who wreaks murderous havoc from beyond the grave on the lives of all those preppy, popular types who spurned her on social media and wouldn’t sit next to her at lunch.

A movie that yields line like “unfriend this dead bitch” has a certain camp appeal but this is an unpleasant and manipulative affair that makes increasingly grim viewing. Laptops are “dark mirrors” in which the characters see incredibly gruesome footage of students seemingly committing suicide. It is hard to work out whether this is intended as a satire on internet addiction disorder” or a Grand Guignol horror movie - but it is equally unsatisfactory as both.

Friend Request Clip - Internet Addiction

Simon Verhoeven, 92 mins, starring: Alycia Debnam-Carey, William Moseley, Connor Paolo, Brit Morgan

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in