Some of the best #horror movies of the last several years have come out in 2016, and "Friend Request" belongs on that list. It's not one of the best horror movies of 2016 for the same reason "The Witch" is; this isn't a game-changing masterpiece. But it's a well-done film for those that love jump-scare movies, and it utilizes the modern age by having Facebook as the platform to reveal the story. Even casual fans of horror movies will appreciate the theme, and they are likely to never view social media the same.
The Plot & Trailer
A college girl (Laura) befriends a peer (Marina) on Facebook, and right away it's apparent that Marina is obsessed with Laura. When Laura ignores her messages and ditches her for a party, supernatural havoc ensues; Laura's friends start dying one by one.
Supernatural stories with jump-scare tactics is a staple of horror movies, but all too often they fail. "Friend Request" found a way to make a demonic entity scary again. And unlike many horror movies, their jump-scare techniques actually work; even when you see it coming. And with them using social media as a major part of the story, the film becomes familiar and it helps to instill fear.
The animated sequences utilized throughout the movie are stunning. The cinematography used, and the character of Marina is a nod to horror movies of yesteryear like "The Ring." But it pays homage to that era, rather than ripping it off. And the deaths and there are plenty of them, are downright creepy.
Laura is portrayed by Alycia Debnam-Carey ("Fear the Walking Dead"), and she gives a solid performance in this horror gem. She does a great job of giving transformation of emotion; when she is scared, the audience feels it. The story builds nicely to the climax and delivers a satisfying ending.
Why 'Friend Request' is one of the best horror movies of 2016
Not every horror flick needs to be a grand masterpiece in order for it to be good. "Friend Request" does a great job of taking the usual tropes of horror films, and utilizing them to their greatest ability. Similar to horror movies like "Scream," "A Nightmare on Elm Street," and "The Cabin in the Woods," this film is best served watching with the lights out and with a group of friends. The story is modern, the plot is original, and the scares are genuine, and these ingredients make "Friend Request" one of the best horror movies of 2016.