Today I am going to share my five favourite horror/thriller screenlife films. This sub-genre works via visual storytelling, where all of the events are presented on a tablet, phone or computer screen. I find them super comforting and very effective at pushing a plotline along. If you think a movie shown this way couldn’t possibly be scary, think again! Without further ado, here are the best of the best!
Profile is a truly excellent screenlife film, which you can find on Netflix. It follows an undercover British journalist, who is given a mission to target and expose a terrorist recruiter through social media. As she dives deeper and deeper into a dangerous world, she begins to lose her sense of identity completely. This movie is scary, but not in the way you might imagine. It shines a confronting light on the reality of sex trafficking and terrorism. The suspense and tension will leave your blood running cold. There is an entire system out there that is easy to fall into and near impossible to get out of. Profile has no trouble reminding viewers of that fact.
Searching is the first film in a franchise that followed up with Missing. However, you do not have to have seen one to understand the other. It follows a panicked father’s online movements as he attempts to track down his missing daughter. This is a movie that will hit hard if you’re a parent. The performances by both John Cho and Debra Messing were exceptional. I enjoyed the shocking twist and avenues of resourcefulness that can come from navigating the online world. I highly recommend checking this one out!
One of the best films I’ve seen this year is Missing. It lives in the same universe as Searching, but as mentioned above, you do not have to see one to get the other. It follows June Allen, a teenager who tries to find her mother after she disappears in Colombia, during a holiday with her new boyfriend. This movie had me hooked from start to finish. I found it so clever and interesting. It is amazing how we can use the Internet to locate somebody in another country. We have many resources at our fingertips and June exhausted every single one. Daughter of the year! If you only watch one feature on this list, let it be Missing.
You can find Spree on Netflix. Desperate for an online following, a rideshare driver has figured out a deadly plan to go viral and will stop at nothing to get his five minutes of fame. If you love Stranger Things, you’ll be overjoyed to know the lead is Joe Keery. He plays an unhinged character without a moral compass. This film highlights the lengths people will go to for popularity. It’s shocking but lots of fun. Highly recommend!
Last but certainly not least, I have to mention Unfriended. A group of teenagers take part in an online chat session only to be joined by a user known as “Billie227.” Thinking it’s just a technical glitch, the friends carry on their conversation, until one of them begins receiving messages from someone claiming to be Laura Barns, a classmate who killed herself exactly one year prior. As she tries to expose them, the gang are forced to confront their darkest secrets and lies. This is the scariest pick from my list. It’s a horror movie through and through. Be prepared for violence. I really enjoyed it. It was a clever way to merge the supernatural and online realm.
Thank you for reading! If you know any other screenlife films I must check out, leave a comment below. I’ve also seen The Den, but I had to stop watching Megan Is Missing for obvious reasons and won’t be revisiting it.
Peace & Love xoxo