Coming Soon: Friend Request

Becky Aurit

This weekend, "It" blew up at the box office, and brought us our first game-changing weekend of the Fantasy Movie League Fall Season.

Due to the fact that "It" has been so successful, I wanted to cover a trailer for another Fall Season horror release. Since I have seen the trailer for "Friend Request" on television approximately 500 times more than I saw the trailer for "It," I decided that it might be worth another look. Unfortunately, with a 40% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, "Friend Request" isn't likely to follow in the footsteps of "It" and won't overachieve at the box office.

In "Friend Request", the main character, Laura, decides to unfriend Marina, a mysterious, obsessive student from her college, on social media. After being rejected online, Marina broadcasts a video where she takes her own life on social media.

The trailer plays out like a fairly straightforward vengeful ghost story. Laura starts to get strange posts showing up on her social media timeline. After a while, the main characters figure out that they are coming from Marina's ghost. There are a couple of moments in the trailer that seem to be intended to make the viewer jump, but as a whole it didn't come off as very scary to me.

In one scene of the trailer, one of the characters is somehow able to get access to the code for the Facebook substitute that the movie centers around. That is some serious hacking. The two people looking at the code are able to figure out that the code is coming from Marina's ghost, because it doesn't look like normal code. In this case, normal code is red, while apparently abnormal ghost code is green. I don't work in IT, so I will assume that is an accurate coding assessment.

"Friend Request" was made by a German production company, and was released in Germany in 2016. Germany offers huge tax incentives for film production, so they tend to give us a lot of movies that aren't necessarily considered to be great watches. Combine that with the previously mentioned 40% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and I don't think that "Friend Request" will do over perform, like good horror movies have done recently.
I am a big fan of the vengeful ghost trope in movies. It is one of my favorite types of horror movies. However, due to the huge success of "It," and the lack of great reviews, I don't think that "Friend Request" will be a big factor in Fantasy Movie League's Fall Season.