Laura is the popular girl in school with an abundance of friends on Facebook and loved by all. She notices one of her fellow students, Marina, isolating herself most of the time so Laura takes it upon herself to reach out to her. After getting to know Marina more, Laura starts to uncover possibly why Marina is so disconnected from anyone else and ends up unfriending Marina. Clearly upset, Marina ends up committing suicide in a flaming rage and the video of this is posted on Laura’s home page. One by one her close friends become more involved and her social circle becomes smaller. Laura has to try and find a way to stop this before she ends up alone.
I separate horror films fit into one of two broad categories: classic and new age. The first are the ones that your parents wouldn’t let you watch as a kid. The second are the shams that are clustered today as attempt to scare, often leaving you regretting wasting that time. Although friend request would normally fit the latter category: the systematic slaughtering of high school student, but I can see some elements that makes it stand out above most horror films currently being released.
Although she has not much screen time, Liesl Ahlers (Rock and Roll) does what she can with very little to go with. Marina should only be summed up as 2D: classic all black attire with hood up and unwashed hair, mixed with very few lines, I didn’t hate the character so Ahlers must have done something right. Comparing this to her benevolent counterpart Alycia Debnam-Carey is given so much to work with but she ends up as a shivering wreck, the character doesn’t end in a good place either! I’m glad that there are 4 other actors supporting her and giving us some relief.
Laura’s assortment of friends vary in the qualities that they bring to the group, although thanks to some second-rate writing at times they provide more comic relief. Kobe, for example is played by Connor Paolo (Mystic River). He is the ‘geeky’ friend who dotes on Laura. Unfortunately his matrix style hacking mixed with a Shining change in his mental state left me laughing when I should have been more scared. So what was it that made this film stand out for me?
Although many of the deaths were obvious there were times that they felt necessary and the suspense was maintained. It was also good to see the perspectives from the person experiencing and eventually committing suicide compared to the CCTV which most films just brush over. For this I would say Friend Request is definitely more watchable than most horror films: think a modern version of The Ring.