If you’ve seen 2015’s Unfriended, then you’ve already seen Friend Request—except without even the bare-minimum freshness of that other movie presenting its “OMG Facebook is haunted!” story solely via a laptop screen. In fact, this movie has been languishing unreleased in the US for more than a year, perhaps to get more air between it and the earlier film. College student Laura (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is the blandest kind of supernice: She likes everyone, even creepy new girl Marina (Liesl Ahlers), who dyes her hair black and wears a hoodie so you know she’s weird. But Laura learns quickly that you cannot lie about what you’re doing to celebrate your birthday when everyone posts pix of your partying on their timelines. Soon, excluded Marina turns stalkerish and Laura has to unfriend her ... and suddenly it’s all video suicides and haunted profiles and mysterious “unknown errors” on FB. There may be something insidious about how willingly we’ve given in to a self-surveillance society, but Request isn’t about that. It’s simply all random supernatural jump scares gone digital and the most obvious resolution imaginable. Click away now.
Director: Simon Verhoeven
Producer: Quirin Berg, Max Wiedemann, Byron Allen, Carolyn Folks, Jennifer Lucas, Chris Charalambous, Mark Borde, Richard Barner and Chad Doher
Cast: Alycia Debnam-Carey, William Moseley, Connor Paolo, Brit Morgan, Brooke Markham, Sean Marquette, Liesl Ahlers, Shashawnee Hall, Susan Danford, Nicholas Pauling, Kimberleigh Stark, Lauren Steyn, Dorothy Gould and Julie Summers