Friend Request 2016 Horror Movie
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  • It's a very boring and unoriginal idea to start off with, but it definitely had potential
  • For example, you had Alycia Debnam-Carey playing the role of the main character, Laura
  • Unfortunately, not even she could turn this movie into something worth watching
  • In this review, I'll look over all of the aspects of the movie and really explain everything that was wrong with it, and that's a lot of things
  • I would put this movie in the category of laughably bad, so there is some entertainment to get out of it, just not the kind that the director was going for

by Ryan Winters


    Friend Request was another movie that was attempting to get in on the popularity of the internet horror movies, such as Unfriended. Essentially, the main character is haunted by a being that is inside of the internet, and they have to figure out a way to defeat the demon before they are all killed. It’s a very boring and unoriginal idea to start off with, but it definitely had potential. For example, you had Alycia Debnam-Carey playing the role of the main character, Laura. You may recognize her from her role in The 100, so we know that she is a pretty well known actress. Unfortunately, not even she could turn this movie into something worth watching.

    In this review, I’ll look over all of the aspects of the movie and really explain everything that was wrong with it, and that’s a lot of things. I’ll also talk about some of the things that I liked about the movie.

  • Friend Request 2016 Horror Movie
  • First, I want to talk about the main character, Laura Woodson. She is essentially a generic college student who is obsessed with social media, mainly Facebook. The movie constantly shows us her follower count as the movie progresses, so it’s clearly something that’s really important to her. I found this kind of odd, considering no one young really uses Facebook anymore, and even when younger people did, who really cared about how many friends you have? In the beginning she had some 800 friends, which I guess would be a lot. I think it would have been a lot better if we followed, perhaps, her Instagram account, where follower count actually does matter, and is much more current.

    Besides that, she’s a generally nice girl who doesn’t really deserve to be cursed at all. The premise of her haunting is that she accepted the weird girl’s friend request (Ma Rina), and when she started to be super clingy and weird, she unfriended her. Because Ma Rina has no other friends, she decides to kill herself, and haunt Laura because she unfriended her. She says, “I want you to know what it’s like to be lonely.” But really, Laura did nothing wrong at all. The girl was clearly obsessed with her, and she tried to be nice several times throughout the movie, and the haunting is completely unjustified to me. If they had made Laura be less nice, or maybe just do anything wrong throughout the movie, then it would make sense, but they try to get the audience to feel sympathy for Ma Rina when instead she just looks like a horrible person. Not sure what they were going for with this.

  • Friend Request 2016 Horror Movie
  • Now we’ll take a look at the main way they portray the movie, through a computer screen with Facebook up. This provides a pretty boring visual, and unfortunately takes up a lot of screen time. For practically half of the movie you’ll see Laura and her friends going through all of Ma Rina’s posts, and I guess we’re supposed to be shocked when we see some spooky imagery. The thing is, nothing in these parts of the movie are even slightly scary, not even when they attempt to jump scare you with these up-close images of random things. It’s honestly completely laughable how the director decided to try and scare the audience. This is not the format you’d want if you’re really looking to frighten people. Completely boring and flat.

  • Friend Request 2016 Horror Movie
  • Now, I want to talk about the relationship between Ma Rina and Laura Woodson. Here, you can see a screenshot from after Laura accepted Ma’s friend request, and you can see she is clearly trying to be friends with the girl. After this though, Ma starts to spend all of her time sending messages to Laura, and generally acting extremely clingy. She even wants to be invited to Laura’s birthday party, when they’ve only known each other for a week. Ma is clearly the person in the wrong in this situation, and I don’t see why Laura deserves anything that she gets throughout the movie.

    We also find out later on that Ma got into some dark stuff on the internet while she was in an orphanage, and also apparently killed two kids that were bullying her. The way she murdered them was extremely brutal too, she used some kind of witchcraft to have wasps swarm down on them and completely deform them. Again, not seeing how Ma is in any way a sympathetic character. Yeah, she was bullied, but that doesn’t mean you should brutally murder them! I feel more likable traits should have gone into the character of Ma Rina.

  • Friend Request 2016 Horror Movie
  • Next up, we have the whole gang of friends that Laura hangs out with. For the most part, I feel that the movie did a good job of not making these characters completely detestable, like what a lot of other horror movies like this do. The only problem is, they then create very flat, uninteresting characters that really don’t serve any purpose other than to be killed. By the end of the movie, you’ll be completely indifferent to all of the side characters except perhaps one, who I will talk about later on. You’ll be lucky if you can even remember their names.

    Another thing that I found odd was that Laura has a boyfriend, who is supposed to be apart of this group of friends. The odd thing is, he’s never in any of these scenes with everyone having lunch, and it’s never explained where he is. I just think it’s odd to have many scenes like this, yet the boyfriend is never present in any of it. It’s not even used as a plot device either, he simply isn’t here because maybe he didn’t show up on the set that day and they didn’t feel like waiting to shoot.

  • Friend Request 2016 Horror Movie
  • I also have to talk about all of the terrible death scenes that are in this movie. The one shown in the screenshot consists of one of the side characters running around a hospital and then killing herself. First, it is shot from her perspective, where she thinks she is completely alone in the hospital, running from the spirit of Ma Rina, eventually trapping herself in a bathroom and then dying. It is then later revealed that she was actually running around a fully occupied hospital, and not a single person decided to help her.

    You can clearly see she is distraught and confused, literally running around yelling for help, yet not a single doctor or anyone attempts to help her? In fact, in the clip people are literally getting out of her way. It makes absolutely no sense that not a single person would think to grab her, try to help her. The best part is, not a single character even questions why no one is helping her. Horrible writing all around the movie.

  • Friend Request 2016 Horror Movie
  • This is the only side character that I feel had any real personality, and I really think the actor, Connor Paolo, did a good job. This is Kobe, who throughout the movie acts as a kind of side-kick to Laura on her quest to defeat the evil internet demon. There’s also this weird plotline where he likes Laura, but she has a boyfriend so he can’t actually show her, but everyone knows he likes her. Also, her boyfriend throughout the movie constantly says he doesn’t want her hanging out with him, understandable considering everyone knows he likes her. However, she completely ignores him and constantly hangs with Kobe. The even weirder part is, even when people are actually dying around her, her boyfriend continues to complain about her hanging out with him. Very odd priorities.

    As for Kobe’s character, is it pretty generic, in that he is the cool hacker guy. He has a good sense of everything that has anything to do with the internet, so obviously she goes to him for help when dealing with internet demons. His character actually develops a lot during the movie and provided some predictable but interesting twists. I really liked his character and thought he added a lot to the movie, and he was really the only person that made the movie watchable.

  • Friend Request 2016 Horror Movie
  • There are also two cops in the movie, that constantly try to question Laura about all of her friends deaths. The thing is, it makes literally no sense for them to be going to her. There is even video evidence that she has absolutely nothing to do with the killings, but they still continue to pursue her. The main reasoning for them going after her is because the deaths of her friends are then posted on her Facebook, which is the reason she is losing all of her friends on there. So while there is some reasoning to why they go after her, there’s literally no way for her to get any of the footage anyway.

    Not to mention, why would Facebook not be handling this situation? There’s even a scene where Laura calls up the support team for Facebook when she is unable to delete her account, and they tell her there is nothing they can do. When people literally dying is being uploaded to their site, you’d think they’d be a little more concerned. Completely idiotic and laughable plot device that makes no sense.

  • Friend Request 2016 Horror Movie
  • Finally, I want to look at the haunting itself. Laura ends up going to Kobe so that he can hack into Ma Rina’s Facebook account. After hitting random keys on his keyboard, a cool Matrix screen pops up. This scene alone was the worst thing I have ever seen, as it once again portrays hacking in the dumbest way possible. We also get to see exactly what is going on in the haunting, and how it is happening.

    When Kobe hacks into Ma’s Facebook page, the discovers that the coding for the page is completely different from anything he has seen before. It is filled with random characters, all of which are constantly changing, and it’s all in a cool rainbow coloring. All of this literally makes no sense at all. So I guess the spirit of Ma Rina is actually inside of Facebook itself? And no one at Facebook has any control over her page, as well as any other pages she wants to affect? Once again, more horrible and completely laughable writing.

    To conclude, do not waste your time with this movie if you’re looking to get scared. Honestly, your best bet is to get together a couple of friends and watch this movie more as a comedy. Horrible writing, bland acting, an all around complete joke of a movie. It really surprises me that someone like Alycia Debnam-Carey would accept a role like this, especially considering all of the much better TV shows and movies she has been in. I would put this movie in the category of laughably bad, so there is some entertainment to get out of it, just not the kind that the director was going for.

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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in June, 2018. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 1125061663870730/k2311a0625/6.25.18
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