friend request

This coming weekend sees the release of a new horror movie hoping to scare audiences out of a few bucks, and we’re hoping it delivers despite seeming destined to open lower than a certain other horror movie heading into its third weekend. I’m looking at you, Stephen King’s IT.

If nothing else, Friend Request stands apart from the old-fashioned thrills of killer clowns and pervy dads by hitching its jump scare-filled wagon to something far trendier. Yes, of course I’m referring to the dangers of social media. The film sees a popular young woman accept a friend request from someone much lower on the social ladder, but when she realizes her faux pas and ends the “friendship,” she discovers a demonic presence who isn’t too keen on saying goodbye.

The internet has offered an enormous boon to commerce, education, and cowardice, but while it brings users together there’s no doubt it’s also keeping people apart. The idea of humanity losing touch with the very connections that make us human is frightening enough in the abstract, but over the years, filmmakers have found and focused on very specific nightmares related to our increasingly online existence. The resulting movies haven’t all been winners – sorry Smiley and Open Windows – but a few have tapped into universally felt fears easily enhanced and magnified by the global nature and anonymity of the online world.

Keep reading for a look at the eight scariest internet-related horror movies.

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Cannes

The first weekend has finally hit at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, which means bigger crowds, longer lines, and more hub-bub about the star studded premieres on the red carpet. It also means that some of the more anticipated films of the festival have begun to premiere. The photo above shows the crowd of people waiting to get into the new Woody Allen film, as taken from the top of the red carpet stairs. Over the last 48 hours, I’ve screened new films from Oliver Stone, Woody Allen, Mike Leigh and Hideo Nakata. I wish I could rave about any of these films, but so far I’ve been unimpressed.

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ms_poots

There’s been a pair of stories in Screen Daily that tell us of two different films to have just cast Imogen Poots in lead roles. There’s Chatroom, an internet inspired thriller from Hideo Nakata, director of the Ring films, and there’s also Cordelia, a spin-off from Shakespeare’s King Lear that revolves around the life of Lear’s daughter after her exile to France.

Chatroom‘s origins are also theatrical, in fact, having been adapted by Enda Walsh from his stage play of the same name. Walsh also scripted Hunger, Steve McQueen’s much loved film about the hunger striker Bobby Sands. One scene in that film is realized as an unbroken shot of around seventeen minutes, providing essentially an extended dialogue from a single camera position. You might be forgiven for wondering if Walsh can break his theatrical style, or if he’d want to.

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