Friend Request | Film review - The perils of social media just got spooky

Friend Request Alycia Debnam-Carey
(Image credit: Casey Crafford)

The perils of social media get a supernatural twist in horror thriller Friend Request starring Alycia Debnam-Carey and Liesl Ahlers.

(Image credit: Casey Crafford)

Another bunch of photogenic American youngsters fall victim to the perils of social media in the pointedly titled horror thriller Friend Request.

This time, however, the cautionary tale comes with a spooky, supernatural twist.

Fear the Walking Dead's Alycia Debnam-Carey stars as Laura, a pretty, popular college student who accepts a misfit loner's friend request on Facebook but finds her new virtual pal too needy and stalker-like in real life.

Friend Request Liesl Ahlers Alycia Debnam-Carey

(Image credit: Casey Crafford)

From here, things quickly turn grisly. Laura's social media account gets taken over by a vengeful demonic force and her friends start dropping dead in macabre circumstances, one by one.

It's all very glossy and shallow, but there are some genuinely creepy animated sequences (purportedly the work of Liesl Ahlers' weird Gothic outsider) and some effective jump scares.


Certificate 15. Runtime 92 mins. Director Simon Verhoeven

Friend Request available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Download from Warner Home Video.

Jason Best

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.