The '80s saw a seemingly endless barrage of slasher films that all followed similar formats of teens in remote locations being attacked by someone they potentially wronged. Thanks to the prominence of the internet in 2017, the concept of social networking can help breathe life into those familiar formulas to give audiences something they can relate to. The dangers of social media are reflected in the trailer for Friend Request, which you can watch above.
In the film, popular college student Laura (Alycia Debnam-Carey) has tons of friends, both on Facebook and IRL. She graciously accepts social outcast Marina’s (Liesl Ahlers) online friend request, until Marina crosses the line and Laura
Friend Request is far from the first film to explore the horrors of social networking, with a variety of films manipulating the various services to tell terrifying tales.
Pulse was one of the earliest of these films to tap into those fears, which focused more on the internet as a whole than specifically social networking. When a student hopes to tap into a frequency that could give students the fastest wifi imaginable, he accidentally uncovers a frequency full of terrifying presences from another dimension.
Similar to the plot of Friend Request, the film Unfriended showed a group of friends interacting with one another through their Facebook profiles and other chat services seemingly being tormented from beyond the grave. The plot might sound similar, but Unfriended used the gimmick of showing users a laptop screen to tell the story, mirroring the experience of looking at your own computer.
Friend Request lands in theaters September 22.