Most of us probably saw the original Unfriended (2014) and forgot about it the next day. Our team was curious about the hype surrounding Unfriended Dark Web (2018). So curious in fact that we took our monitoring equipment in the field once again to measure how scary this new sequel could be.
Our very own Kimberley Elizabeth called Unfriended: Dark Web “a Poughkeepsie Tapes‘ of the digital era [that] rises above the constraints of its browser tabs, and is able to weave a singular narrative that is both tense and frightening.” Read the full review HERE.
For Unfriended Dark Web we equipped our test subject with a professional grade, hospital certified heart-monitor to record real-time measurements of her heart-rate, oxygen intake, and stress levels. (FearScale reports on Heart-Rate monitoring but at times will take into account story structure, acting and plot to draw conclusions about physiological responses when compiling results)
Test Subject: Leah
Fears: Public Speaking
Resting HR: 68 bpm
Walking HR: 75-80 bpm
ANALYSIS: The film began with a slow pace as reflected in our subject’s early numbers. Similar to the original film, the audience is watching through the technology. The minor climb to 75bpm was purely from anticipation of something about to happen. In fact we don’t see any significant movement in her heart-rate until we reached 37:00 into the movie. As the plot began to unfold, the stress levels began to increase as well. A jolt at 40:45 pushed our subject to her peak heart-rate at 95bpm. This was when the film pulled away from being a monotonous tech support call to a real life-or-death situation.
Her numbers would stay elevated burning stress calories through the finale. And even though the extremely slow start of the film may have skewed the average, our subject was still able to burn off her entire cherry slushie (66 calories) and then some!
“[…] we felt trapped and unable to look away, whether we liked what we were seeing or not.”
CONCLUSION: Our subject did explain afterward how uncomfortable she felt during the film. There was a growing empathy for the characters as if she was part of the mental torture. Like the lead actors in the film we felt trapped and unable to look away, whether we liked what we were seeing or not. And while this isn’t the scariest film we have monitored this year, it produced enough stress toward the end to keep the heart pumping at above average levels. Feel free to share our results but be warned… the web has way of punishing those that disagree with us.
How many Fear Calories did you burn watching Unfriended Dark Web? Let us know in the comments below, on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and in the Horror Fiends of Nightmare on Film Street Facebook group!