Movie Review: Friend Request (2016)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2016 thriller starring Alycia Debnam-Carey and William Moseley.

Synopsis: Psychiatry student Laura spends a great deal of time on social media and has more than 800 followers. Feeling sorry for an unpopular classmate, Marina, she decides to accept her friend request. However, Marina develops an unhealthy obsession with her only friend and Laura is forced to change her mind. When Marina kills herself as a result, Laura's life begins to be flipped upside down as someone or something takes control of her social media and begins to kill off her closest friends.

Review

I was in the mood for a holiday movie last night but, since my wife and I couldn't find one that didn't seem like a rehashed version of something we've already seen, I wound up looking for a thriller instead. This one looked somewhat interesting so we decided to give it a try. After watching it, my opinion of it was a bit mixed.

The overall premise of the movie isn't too terrible. I like the fact Laura (Debnam-Carey) is a likable character who was simply trying to do the right thing by befriending Marina (Ahlers) only to have her attempt to be nice backfire on her. The fact Marina was practicing witchcraft that allowed her to continue to stalk Laura and her friends, via the internet, from beyond the grave was also a nice touch that added an extra bit of creepiness to the film.

I also thought some of the supporting characters in this movie were interesting. This is especially true of her friend/would-be boyfriend Kobe (Connor Paolo), who was willing to help her but just had something about him that made it hard for me to trust him.

I think my biggest problem with this film is it was a movie that was in desperate need of some sort of surprise twist. Once Marina's secret is revealed, the movie becomes somewhat predictable and even the ending was something I saw coming.

It would have been better, at least in my opinion, if Marina turned out not to be the bad guy and, instead, it was one of Laura's friends (perhaps Kobe?) behind her social media hack and the death of those closest to her. Without that, there honestly isn't much about this movie that really sets it apart from other films.

Final Opinion

It's an OK movie and I didn't regret watching it. But, because it is somewhat predictable, I can only describe it as average. It wasn't a bad movie. However, there isn't anything about it that is particularly memorable.

My Grade: C

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Updated: 12/23/2018, StevenHelmer
 
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