CREDIT: BH Tilt

Unfriended: Dark Web repeats the same format and many of the same methods as the first Unfriended, but the feelings it inspires are of a different breed. The original was a dark morality tale about some truly awful teenagers experiencing karmic justice. But the twenty-somethings in Dark Web all appear to be decent human beings, yet the fates they experience are even worse. It is a thoroughly cruel movie, though I hesitate to call it mean-spirited, as the type of sadistic evil it presents does exist in the real world, and it can therefore work as a bleak warning.

Once again, the action unspools via Skype conversation and other laptop applications. Instead of a vengeful ghost, the big bad this time is a network of criminal hackers. Their technical prowess strains credulity, though it might be a case of sufficiently advanced (fictional) technology appearing like magic to us. (It might have been a good idea to explain it a tad.) Standout features include the difficulty of communicating via sign language over a computer and a particularly fraught case of the dilemma of being forced to choose which of two loved ones gets to survive. Telling the entire story on a laptop screen is once again initially disorienting but then disarmingly natural. Overall, my reaction to Dark Web is much like my reaction to Phantom Thread: I appreciate how well-made it is, but the experience of watching it is just so unpleasant.

I give Unfriended: Dark Web 3 Trephinations out of 5 Facebook Messages.

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