Spree & 9 Other Terrifying Movies About Social Media
Social media is an almost inescapable aspect of society these days, and these movies show the dark side of our reliance on being "connected."
Technology is becoming more and more advanced and has become a big part of most everyone's daily lives. The horror and psychological thriller genres have both increasingly had a heavier focus on technology and specifically using social media as a starting point to tell terrifying stories.
The 2020 film Spree is one of the latest in the genre that delves into the psychology of social media and looks at terrifying outcomes when someone is too obsessed with technology or social media platforms. Here are some of the creepiest modern films about technology and social media.
In Spree, Joe Keery (Stranger Things) stars as the social media obsessed Kurt who is determined to be a successful influencer with a big following. He tried to be successful by following all of the rules, but after not seeing any improvement he devises a deadly plan to try to go viral— using his job as a rideshare driver to get people into his car and subsequently livestream their deaths.
It's a terrifying psychological horror film that delves into the social media obsessed mind and the people who are willing to do anything for followers.
Seen entirely through on-screen electronic devices, Searching stars John Cho as a desperate father looking for his missing daughter as he searches through her contacts and social media accounts to find any clues to where she could be.
The film shows that parents sometimes don't know what their children are doing on the internet or through social media, and the consequences that can result from kids carelessly trusting people online.
Dave Franco and Emma Roberts star in the thriller Nerve about a new online interaction game that quickly gets out of hand. The titular game has fans and players interacting across the app as players are dared to complete challenges that become increasingly more difficult and dangerous throughout the film. Franco and Roberts portray two of the players in the game who get caught up in the action and put their lives at risk in the name of online entertainment.
7Hard Candy (2005)
Hard Candy is a creepy film that stars Patrick Wilson as a photographer and Ellen Page as a young teen who sets up a meeting with him. The teen believes that the man is using his job to prey on young girls through the internet, getting them into compromising positions, and wants to make him pay for it.
What ensues is vengeance that is idealistically justified, though no less unsettling to watch unfold. It's an uncomfortable film that showcases the darkest side of the internet's ability to bring people together.
6Ingrid Goes West (2017)
Ingrid Goes West follows the troubled Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) as she tries to reckon with the death of her mother and her life not going the way she wants it to go. Obsessed with an Instagram influencer named Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), Ingrid wants Taylor's perfect life and decides to move west to meet and befriend her.
As Ingrid injects herself into Taylor's life, the film becomes an uncomfortable look into influencers presenting a perfect life online and fans who would do anything to live that unrealistic life.
Netflix documentary Fyre follows the events surrounding the Fyre Festival, created by businessman Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule. After a marketing blitz that drew heavily on the endorsements of several high-profile internet influencers, the festival proved a disaster and a scam that led to lawsuits and a logistical mess that still hasn't been fully cleaned up. That popular influencers were so willing to get their fans to spend money on a festival based purely on empty promises shows how dangerous it can be to trust what you hear online.
Catfish follows Nev Schulman as he investigates who was on the other end of an online relationship he had developed with another person, only to find that nothing was remotely as it seemed.
RELATED: 15 Craziest Catfish Episodes, Ranked
The film that came from Nev's footage of his investigation became a phenomenon that not only introduced a new term into pop culture but also spawned an MTV series, with Nev helping other people figure out if they are being "catfished" by their online partners like he was.
Ratter is a found footage horror movie that follows a young woman living her life completely unaware that a stalker has hacked into her devices so he can watch her through the cameras— a common fear of people in our camera-filled society.
The stalker soon becomes bored with simply watching his victim from afar and decides to begin stalking her in person, showing up at her apartment and threatening her and her new boyfriend. It's creepy, uncomfortable, and worst of all, not out of the realm of possibility.
Unfriended has the unique gimmick of telling its story entirely through video chat screens, with things quickly turning into a horrific nightmare. A group of friends are talking over video chat and are joined by an anonymous account who claims to be a classmate who ended their life a year ago— and now wants revenge. The characters are forced to come clean about their darkest secrets and lies as they are picked off one by one.
1The Social Network (2010)
Although The Social Network isn't necessarily terrifying or unsettling like the other horror films listed, it's still a brutal inside look into the inner workings and cutthroat environment behind the scenes of social media giants, and Silicon Valley in general. The Aaron Sorkin film delves into the backstory of the founding of Facebook and the consequential lawsuits, while focusing on Mark Zuckerberg and others involved in the creation of the social network.