Movies are often a reflection of the times in which they're made and horrors are no different. It's no surprise then, given our generation’s dependence on our phones/computers/tablets, that it’s becoming more and more common to see technology explored in modern horror – with some very scary results.
Here's a selection of horrors and thrillers that use apps, computers and technology to give audiences the heebie-jeebies.
Hitting cinemas this Friday October 25th is 'Countdown'. When a nurse (You's Elizabeth Lail) downloads an app that claims to predict when a person will die, it tells her she only has three days to live. With time running out, she must find a way to cheat her fate and stay alive. Moreover, a mysterious figure haunts her, adding to the intrigue. Creepy and full of jump scares but tons of fun, 'Countdown' is the perfect movie outing before Halloween. Find where 'Countdown is showing and cinema times here.
David (John Cho in a career-best performance - most know him as Sulu in ‘Star Trek’), is left anguished when his daughter Margot disappears into thin air. He searches through her laptop for digital footprints which may give clues as to her whereabouts. The entire movie plays out on screens such as laptop screens, phones, or television screens. As well as being technically commendable, ‘Searching’ offers both an intense thriller and an emotional family drama.
'Paranormal Activity 4'
Unlike previous 'Paranormal Activity' instalments, 'Paranormal Activity 4' is shot via a laptop webcam or video chats instead of the standard video camera. In this chapter, a suburban family witness strange events in the neighbourhood when a woman and mysterious child move in. The 'Paranormal Activity' series have proven massively successful at the box office. Reportedly there is a seventh instalment in the works.
'Unfriended' follows a group of online chat room friends who find themselves haunted by a supernatural force using the account of their deceased friend. Its sequel, 'Unfriended: Dark Web', follows a teen who robs a new laptop and soon discovers that the previous owner is watching him, and will do anything to get the laptop back. Spooky stuff... Though they have different storylines, both films were shot from camera phones and laptops.
Emma Roberts and Dave Franco play two students who become embroiled in the online reality game 'Nerve', which they play via their phones. The game has people either enlist as "players" or "watchers". The players accept dares posed by watchers and receive monetary rewards when they carry out the task. As the money on offer goes ever higher, so too do the stakes of the dares. Soon Roberts and Franco's characters are fighting for their lives.
The film that made everyone think twice about accepting every 'friend request' - or 'unfriending' people, for that matter - on Facebook. Popular college student Laura (Alycia Debnam-Carey - 'Fear the Walking Dead') receives a friend request from a quiet classmate, Marina (Liesl Ahlers), but when Marina starts acting weird, Laura unfriends her. It turns out to be a huge mistake as supernatural, terrible things start happening to Laura. And she loses control of her Facebook profile *gasps*
'Countdown' is in cinemas from October 25. Get your tickets here.