Unfriended: Dark Web is a semi-competent horror sequel that attempts to show the very real complexities of the dark web. However, it shows it in a cartoonish fashion that makes people who have an understanding of hacking at all a 90’s stereotype.
The story follows a young man who steals a laptop and finds some very disturbing data which leads to his entire group being targeted by the underworld of the dark web.
The film is not in anyway a continuation to Unfriended, but is filmed in the exact same way with the entire film being shown on a computer screen, which is admittedly made very competently.
It gives off the idea that all of the scenes are one shot, giving it a realistic atmosphere. There were only a few moments where the actions of the characters make you think they can’t use a laptop correctly. However, for the remainder of the time, it flows well and sells you that these people know the general ins and outs of the internet and their the situation.
The problems lay with the characterization of the antagonists, human traffickers and murders who pay in cryptocurrency for the torture and selling of individuals that then find out their organization has been infiltrated by a random barista with their laptop.
That sentence alone should sound like an interesting thriller with very realistic monsters. Yet they are represented by omnipresent people who all shop at the same Bluenotes, wearing hoodies and having bandanas across their mouths. Somehow they know all the locations of everyone involved and have so many members around the world ready to take orders that it’s kind of impressive.
Because the film makes it a point to say that they are all in very separate places on the planet, it almost comes off as a cartoon that this server of people has so many followers around the world.
The dark web is a very real place and there were only a few times that it was realistically used to have some very scary real effects on what it could be used for, however, more often than not it goes for the 90’s stereotype that hackers are a bunch of loners who are killers and freaks.
The film is generally well acted, has many enjoyable moments and does deserve a watch, but it falls short when any of its plot points are given any real thought.