New Dates, New Titles: Online Shocker “UNFRIENDED” & Shyamalan’s “THE VISIT”News Samuel Zimmerman
Going from one goofy moniker to another, the shockingly effective all-online teen shocker CYBERNATURAL has been retitled and redated in anticipation of its big screen bow.
After very seriously creeping out audiences this past summer at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, Universal and producer Jason Blum took great interest in CYBERNATURAL, acquiring the Timur Bekmambetov-produced film for release in April 2015. Since, they’ve renamed it UNFRIENDED and made a minor shift, giving the movie an April 17, 2015 release.
UNFRIENDED is visualized entirely on the laptop screen of a high school girl, as her and her friends are tormented by the seeming ghost of a bullied classmate on a group Skype chat. Director Levan Gabriadze and his cast transcend a lot of the pitfalls found in this emerging found footage subgenre by finding authenticity and dexterity in protagonist Blaire’s online activity and interactions. This web-based morality scare story should get a lot of audiences good and frightened come spring.
Also redated and retitled by Universal and produced by Jason Blum is THE VISIT, the upcoming horror film from M. Night Shyamalan formerly known as SUNDOWNING. Now set to arrive September 11, 2015, THE VISIT finds Kathryn Hahn play a mother of two. Her children go off to visit their grandparents and things go as they tend to in our brand of picture: “horribly wrong.”
For more on UNFRIENDED, see our Michael Gingold’s review of the film here.