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Friend Request [2017] [R] - 3.7.6

 
 

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ASSIGNED NUMBERS

Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
Profanity
1 to 10

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A college woman (Alycia Debnam-Carey) with hundreds of Facebook friends accepts a friend request from a lonely animation major (Liesl Ahlers), who starts posting disturbing images and she ends up being unfriended. The rejected animator commits suicide while filming herself, the video appears on her former friend's page and then real friends die in succession. Also with William Moseley, Connor Paolo, Brit Morgan, Brooke Markham and Sean Marquette. Directed by Simon Verhoeven. [1:32]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A man and a woman kiss and the scene ends (sex is implied) and the next morning, the woman's friend teases her that she did not come home last night. A woman kisses a man briefly and he hugs her twice. A woman kisses a man in a café. A man kisses a woman's shoulder (she is wearing a tank top).
 Three scenes show a woman wearing a tank top in a darkened bedroom (we see cleavage) and in bed beside a man who is shirtless (we see chest and back). A man and a woman lie on a couch together, asleep, and wearing shorts that end mid-thigh (no sex is implied).
 Three women wear legless shorts that expose legs up to the hips. A few women wear tank tops and thin-strapped dresses that expose cleavage. We see the shoulders and feet of a woman in a shower; later we see her wrapped in a large towel with her shoulders visible. Twice in a black-and-white film we see the bare abdomen of a pregnant woman for a few seconds (it's in shadows). Photos of a man show him shirtless, with his abdomen and chest visible.
 On top of a large cake, a nude Barbie doll lies face down in the icing; a man makes a joke, saying, "I'm on my period. I need chocolate."

VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - A man stuck in an elevator hears a roar, the screen goes black and a woman looks in as the doors open (we see blood everywhere); the man runs and smashes his face and head into the walls of the elevator car (his face is covered with blood and blood clots and one eye seems to be missing) as he screams and we hear later that he died. In a flashback, we see a woman in close-up as she slits her own throat and blood runs down her neck and shoulders.
 A young woman commits suicide and we see the following: we see her light a sketch of a friend on fire with a cigarette lighter, drop the picture to the carpeting to catch fire, stand on a chair, and jump off (we see only her feet dangling in the frame, but we hear strangled gagging); the footage automatically uploads to the Facebook page of another woman who is upbraided by friends and after additional such footage appears on her page, her college suspends her (she is unable to delete the footage or to close her account).
 A woman hears buzzing and is startled as a phone rings, she peeks out the peephole in her door and sees a pale grimacing face, she stumbles back and a swarm of wasps enters through the peephole; a corpse covered with wasps steps into the room and the scene cuts to the woman falling on top of a car's hood leaving her face bloody (we see her in the hospital in a coma with a bloody head and her mouth filled with an oxygen tube). A woman in a coma opens her eyes, pulls out all the bloody IVs and other lines, cracks her joints, grabs a man in the room by the throat, lifts him and drops him; she takes his handgun and shoots herself under the chin, splashing blood across most of one wall and a window.
 A man and a woman enter a burned-out farmhouse and a ghostly entity appears, scaring the man before disappearing; the man stabs the woman in the abdomen after he stares into a mirror and she runs away. A man stabs another man, through the neck and throat toward the camera, making blood flow, and then chases a woman, but he is attacked and killed by wasps. A man squeals with pain and uses tweezers to remove a large bloody bug from one of his ears.
 A suicide video appears on a Facebook page. Video footage of a man smashing his head into the walls of an elevator car appears on a woman's Facebook page and the police question her. Video footage of a woman's death appears on another woman's Facebook page, inexplicably posted by another dead woman. A woman turns to see her printer spitting out pages of Egyptian-like symbols. A woman sees a vision of a dead woman and tells her roommate that she is moving out. A large computer lab's many screens fill with static and pictures of animations and a student whimpers. A flashback shows a charred but living pregnant woman with a slimy, charred face as she is pushed through a corridor on a gurney and a voiceover reports that the woman died and her husk of a body was kept viable on machines until the baby was born; the infant girl went to an orphanage where children bullied her (we see two elementary aged boys attack her as they close the door to her room twice and a boy's arm closes tightly around her neck).
 We see two dead boys standing in shadows several times with their faces featureless and scarred. A small door opens in a wall and a young girl walks to the woman and asks her to be best friends; the woman crawls through the small door and finds a hanging corpse in heavy shadows and a laptop powered down, sitting open on a desk. Students huddle around a cadaver covered by a sheet and we see only the outline of lower legs and feet. A man cuts into the stomach of a cadaver and stops with a bit of blood showing.
 An angry woman shouts at another woman in public and a scuffle occurs causing a cafeteria tray to be dashed to the floor; the hood of one woman's hoodie slips down to show a large bald spot and bloody holes on her head (she rushes away, embarrassed). A woman hospitalized for mental trauma yells at another woman saying that it's all her fault. A woman argues with detectives twice, but they insist she knows how a dead college girl died and that she knows a lot of dead people. A woman argues with Facebook technicians loudly, receiving no help with a dead woman's account that keeps harassing her by posting to her page. A woman loudly argues with her mother twice. A Facebook post promises to make a woman become lonely.
 A man hears noises in his dark house and the power is out; we hear running feet and see a crayon drawing of a clown with fangs dripping blood and a smashed small animal cage with a pile of gore beside it and blood drips down a wall, a large wasp's nest is covered with wasps in a corner of the ceiling and the man runs outside. A trauma patient sees a forest fire outside her hospital room window, where no forest exists and she hallucinates a bloody dead corpse in the next bed and it rises; she sees the ghosts of two dead boys without faces in the corridor, a bathroom floor fills with blood, she sees herself in a bathtub of red water with her throat slit and her animal-like eyes staring as black wasps fill the screen. A woman awakens at night to a knock on her window and she sees a wasp bumping the window before a woman's face covered with wasps appears; she startles and awakens in her bed in the morning. A woman stares into a computer screen and it turns into a spiky black forest as she screams; the camera cuts to the woman sitting in a college lunchroom, pale, with red sunken eyes, with a hood over her head, staring at two college girls eating together and her eyes change color. A woman stares into a mirror sees a black spiky forest and a black magic mirror while behind her we see a large round red-scraped face with sharp teeth and red eyes briefly and it disappears as a roommate turns on a light. Black and white animations on a Facebook page show a black spiky forest and a gothic-looking woman staring into a black-magic mirror; we also see a flock of ravens flying around a large eye, a house, and a forest. A doll's head falls to the floor and a splash of dark liquid (blood) spatters a wall. A house seems to be burning down in short flames. Rows of hieroglyphics fill a screen. A huge pregnant belly in close-up is covered with moving hieroglyphics. On a laptop screen, a dim photo of a young man's face distorts and melts and the same happens later to a female face. A woman looks into a laptop camera, pulls tufts of her hair out, her eyes become milky, and she walks out of the room with a knife in her hand. A kitten on a laptop screen grows big fangs and roars into the camera. A man's arms are covered with tattoos of insects, designs, and some odd symbols.
 After we see several news clippings about black magic, magic black mirrors, and the Black Mirror Society, we hear that a witch's group stares into black mirrors and black laptop screens (powered off) until they become possessed; we hear that if caught, they hang themselves after building a fire on the ground or floor to burn themselves, thereby making themselves able to possess a living person. We hear that two boys were killed and their noses were chewed off. We hear that a woman has a psychiatric condition in which she pulls out her hair and eyelashes. We briefly see a certificate on which a woman is designated psychotic. We hear that black wasps guard witches. We hear that a college freshman has caused others' nightmares all her life. A scene and a flashback include a male professor announcing that a female student committed suicide; students look shocked as he says a video of her death was uploaded to the college server and is not to be watched. We hear that a woman pulled out a lot of her hair before dying (she slit her own throat). A man tells a group of college students that many people suffer from the unofficial condition of Internet Addiction Disorder.

PROFANITY 6 - About 14 F-words and its derivatives, 4 scatological terms, 5 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, insane, nuts, stupid, weird, super-weird, whacked, mental patient, creeper, goofer), exclamations (shoot, shut-up), 10 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, God, My God, Christ, Jesus). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man asks if another man was on something, and a woman says, "No." Video footage shows four tall drinks on a bar and a bartender shaking a drink in a shaker (nobody drinks), a restaurant table is shown with bottles of beer and glasses of wine (nobody drinks), a woman sits in front of a glass of wine at home and does not drink, and a woman holds a bottle of beer at home and does not drink. A man smokes a cigarette, and a woman smokes a slim cigar.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Suicide, death, murder, cults, evil spirits, supernatural realms, college experiences, mental disorders of young adults, creating disturbing images, personal appearance, loneliness, obsession, rage, psychological pain, revenge, cyber-stalking.

MESSAGE - Vet new social media acquaintances before accepting friendships and seek help if they begin to post inappropriate material to you or about you.

Special Keywords: S3 - V7 - P6 - MPAAR

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.




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