A twentysomething (Colin Woodell) comes into possession of a new laptop and soon discovers that the previous owner is not only watching him, but will also do anything to get it back - and is prepared to go to any lengths to do so.
Horror as a genre has such a prodigious output that directors and studios are now reaching for just about any new concept. 2014's 'Unfriended' was a fascinating concept and executed intelligently, if a little garishly. Essentially, the movie was set entirely in a laptop screen with the various actors appearing on screen via Skype and the terrors visited upon all took place in real-time. In other words, when one of them was killed, they were killed via Skype.
With 'Unfriended: Dark Web', it's much the same deal. An app designer decides to swipe a laptop from a lost-and-found at a local internet cafe and discovers that it is, in fact, owned by a truly twisted individual who has blackmailed someone via an extortion racket. From there, things quickly spiral out of control and feels very much like it was designed for people who know a little about the Dark Web for it to be scary. Naturally, of course, if you're conversant on this kind of thing, all of this will come across as quite laughable - but, it's a horror movie and your only option is to merely accept it.
Casting a group of unknowns does lend itself a certain integrity as it means you can quite easily get sucked in by the story. Again, the ingenuity of the concept works in its favour because like previous found-footage horrors, your mind fills in the blanks and the fact that it's set in something so mundane - literally a shared screen of Macbook - makes it all the more compelling. While it isn't by any means original and there is a certain hokeyness to it all, the jump scares are effective when they need to be and the all-important twist at the end is a good buzz.
As horrors go, it's a quick, sharp rip of excitement that has enough charm and spice to sustain itself over the mercifully succinct 92-minute runtime.