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Billie227 (real name: Laura Barns) (January 4, 1996 – April 12, 2013) is the main antagonist of the 2015 horror film Unfriended.
Her past self, the female 911 voice operator and her vengeful spirit are portrayed by Heather Sossaman.
Unfriended is a film about a group of friends simply talking on Skype, and are haunted and tortured by an unseen entity that seems to have hacked into their Skype call and forces them to commit suicide one by one until one of them confesses to posting a humiliating video of a high school student, which had resulted in the student being cyberbullied and driven to suicide.
The trailer strongly implicates that the identity of Billie227 is the spirit of the girl who committed suicide in the first place, Laura Barns, as he/she hacks Laura's account and her profile picture distorts whenever Laura is mentioned. It appears that this entity is able to attack and possess people, as well as do just about anything on the Internet, such as post tweets, send messages, and upload distant files onto the Internet.
Though Billie227 (also known as Laura) brutally kills her victims through sadistic methods, she also offers them a chance to redeem themselves many times in the film but the haughtiness of the characters, especially Blaire Lily, is the main reason why they anger Laura and ultimately pay the price of death, though while the ghost threatens the characters death if they did not confess, Laura herself has no intention of sparing innocent people, mainly the aforementioned characters who had her killed (not actual innocent people who never did anything wrong to her).
Laura Barns was born on January 4, 1996. Originally, Laura was a high school student in Fresno, California and she had a childhood best friend named Blaire Lily, the main protagonist of the film. Blaire knew that she had a troubled relationship with her uncle and it was assumed that he sexually abused her. Though they were best friends, Laura was known to be a bully by her classmates but unlike Blaire, who often kept her past crimes a secret, Laura openly confessed that she was a bully herself.
One night after being intoxicated at a party, Laura suddenly passed out and was covered with feces, which was secretly filmed by an unknown cameraman (which was revealed to be Blaire). The video was then uploaded onto YouTube without her consent, which made Laura a victim of cyberbullying and humiliation. Laura saw the video and noticed that there were many hate comments that targeted her and she probably became traumatised since the video reveals her soiled shorts, which probably made her remember about the sexual abuse she received from her uncle.
On April 12, 2013, Laura had enough of the cyberbullying and decided to commit suicide in a public area by shooting herself. Her suicide deeply affected everyone who knew her and witnessed it and her Facebook account became a memorial and dedication page. However, little did they know that the vengeful spirit of Laura Barns returns to this world after she accessed a mysterious Skype account called Billie227, which she used to exact her revenge by killing those who didn't confess about posting the embarrassing video on YouTube.
The film begins on April 12, 2014, exactly a year after Laura's suicide. Blaire watches the suicide video on LiveLeak before she closes the screen and goes on Skype to talk to her boyfriend Mitch. Their sexually intimate Skype chat was interrupted by their four other friends. However, they also notice an unwanted user in their Skype chat, which was Billie227, who is proven to be Laura's Instagram account.
In the film, after everyone notices the account, they make several unsuccessful attempts to get rid of the user. As the night wears on, Billie227's/Laura's Facebook account starts sending cryptic messages to the friends, which makes them suspect that another girl, Val Rommel (Courtney Halverson), whom they all despise, is simply pranking them. When she is invited to the chat, Laura hack's Jess' Facebook with repulsive and compromising pictures of Val at a party, some of which show Val drunk to the point of vomiting and passing out and smoking a bong.
After Val scolds Jess for posting the pictures Jess, proclaiming her innocence, attempts to delete the photos, but they continue to reappear. After Jess finally deletes them, Billie227 hacks Adam's account and posts the photos on his Facebook. Billie227's control over the group grows even tighter after sending insulting text messages, leading to massive arguments. Billie227 then aggressively taunts and threatens Val, causing her to call 911 to report online abuse, but not before accusing Ken of harassment, and signing off. Ignoring her threats, Ken states that he never liked Laura saying she was a bully and deserved everything that she received from the embarrassing video of her, stating that Laura bullied Ken before her suicide.
Billie227 e-mails Blaire an Instagram picture of an email that Laura sent Val a year earlier, begging her to remove the embarrassing video and offering friendship. Val rejected the plea and told her to kill herself. When multiple Instagram users scold Val for her cruelty, Billie227 possesses Val's computer and calls the group, causing Val's corpse to be suddenly brought back into the chat.
Val is seen silently sitting in her laundry room, next to an open bottle of bleach, motionlessly staring at the camera. As the group watches with confusion, they notice the mirror is shattered. They are lead to believe her camera had lagged out into an image with the only sound in the background being the barking of her dog. Concerned Blaire calls Val to check on her, and Val's phone is seen vibrating across her counter. Suddenly, her computer abruptly is knocked to the ground. While Blaire speculates that Val is suffering from a seizure, the police arrive and shout out police codes. The group try to work out Val's death using those codes, which is eventually labelled as a suicide. Though it is not explicitly stated, it is heavily implied that Laura possessed Val and forced her to drink the bleach.
Ken's Death, and Identity Revealed
Following Val's death, Laura fully manifests herself by abandoning her Billie227 alias. She begins by sending private photos to the rest of the group containing their own secrets, Blaire specifically receives a photo of her and Adam having sex. As the group finds themselves besieged by their hidden secrets, Laura forces them to play a game. Meanwhile, as the panic begins to set in, Ken tries to undermine Laura by emailing the group a malware removal program to forcibly remove Laura from their chat session. After much struggling and arguing, the program is successful and Laura is removed.
Adam decideds to call the police. A female 911 Voice Operator answers the call. The operator asks if everyone is ok and safe. Including Ken. The voice operator reveals herself to be Billie227 and after she hangs up from Adam's phone Billie227 begins to supernaturally attack her friends directly. Their efforts are short lived however, as immediately afterward Laura returns and opens a camera feed behind one of the users. After Ken stands up, he and the remaining friends realize that the camera is in his room.
When Ken finds the source of the camera, he looks directly into the camera, frozen in shock his for a few seconds before his feed cuts out. When it resumes, Ken is seen standing up, frozen. Having fully possessed Ken, Laura begins attacking Ken, by throwing him down onto his desk, mangling his hand in a blender, and then killing him by pressing his neck on the blades of the blender to slice his throat. Billie227 then disconnects the webcam in the chat room.
Adam's Death, and Secrets Revealed
With Ken's death, Laura asserts total control over the remaining survivors. She begins to manifest herself in Adam's house by knocking on his front door. As he goes to investigate, she turns off the lights in his house and forces him to retreat into the living room. Now that the group is at her full attention, she then demands to know to who posted the video that made her kill herself. When the group assert they don't know what she means, she possesses Blaire's laptop and floods her screen with pop-ups of the video, then shows her messages replied by hurtful Facebook users that commented on her video. With no other options, the group fearfully agrees to play a game. In playing, Laura ultimately forces the four remaining friends to play Never Have I Ever, threatening to end the loser's life. It is then through this game, that Laura then reveals secrets that put the friends at odds with each other:
- Jess spreads a rumor about Blaire having an eating disorder;
- Blaire drunkenly crashed Jess' mother's car;
- Mitch kissed Laura behind Blaire's back;
- Adam bargained with Laura to trade Jess' life for his;
- Mitch ratted Adam out to the cops for selling marijuana;
- Jess hacked Adam's bank account and stole $800 from him.
When a heavily intoxicated Adam becomes enraged at the game and furious to learn that Mitch ratted him out, he then uses the game to force Blaire to reveal that she is no longer a virgin, having had sex with him twice behind Mitch's back, and an enraged Mitch retaliates by revealing that Adam gave a girl roofies at a party and had sex with her while she was unconscious, then forced her to have an abortion when she later discovered she was pregnant. Using his rage to both her advantage and to further possess him, Laura uploads Blaire and Adam's sex tape on YouTube to prove it. Then, to take advantage of an emotionally unstable Adam, she purposely sends both Blaire and Adam messages from their printer, threatening to kill them should they reveal their messages.
Mitch, angry that Blaire and Adam are apparently sending each other "secret messages", threatens to log off, to which Laura responds that if he does, he will die. Fearing for Mitch's life, Blaire shows her note: "If you reveal this note, Adam will die." Fully possessing Adam, Laura kills him by forcing him to shoot himself in the face with his father's revolver. Adam's camera is jolted downwards by this, and shows the message to sent to him: "If you reveal this note, Blaire will die."
Despite Adam's death, Laura says the game is not over. And further possessing the group's computers, Laura then takes an even more direct approach to her friends. Continuing the game, she demands to know who has ever defaced her grave. After Jess refuses to admit she was the one who vandalized it, Laura fully manifest in Jess's house and turns all the lights off in her house. While a frightened Jess hides in her bathroom, Blaire goes on Chatroulette and successfully gets someone to call the police. Meanwhile, Laura's ghost invades Jess's room and siphons her Internet connection.
Laura then jams Jess's Wi-Fi, causing Jess' feed to cut off. When it resumes, it briefly shows Jess screaming and crouched at the foot of her bathroom door as an unseen force attempts to break it down, before getting cut off again. Seconds after, her feed resumes, showing a dying Jess choking to death on a burning electric hair straightener. She then confirms her latest kill by then posting a pic on her Facebook account showing Jess's immortalized murder with the emboldened words "Looks she finally STFU", and then sends it to Blaire.
Mitch's Death and the Final Secret Revealed
With Jess dead, the only two remaining friends left alive are Blaire and Mitch.
When Blaire and Mitch subsequently apologize to each other, thinking that it's all over, Laura manifests herself again by physically by turning off the lights in their houses. She then immediately messages them, demanding to know who uploaded the video of her humiliation on YouTube.
When Blaire and Mitch instinctively proclaim their innocence, Laura private chats Blaire, while counting down on Skype. While Blaire continues to console Laura, Laura materializes in Mitch's room and then fully possesses Mitch. After Blaire finally admits that Mitch was the one who did it Laura forces a possessed Mitch to commit suicide by stabbing himself in the eye, leaving Blaire alone in the chat room.
Laura's Revenge Granted
With Mitch gone, Blaire is the last living friend who is now Laura's final target. As Blaire breaks down into tears crying, Laura thanks her for the help, and shares a brief condolence with her. After, Laura decides to reward her, but tells her that she must confess to one more thing. Possessing Blaire's laptop, she begins counting down, shocking Blaire and increasing her panic. Blaire, now realizing that Laura is now after her, tries to placate Laura by showing her past photos of when the two were friends. In response, Laura retorts that there's more to the story than what Blaire is willing to admit.
Hacking her account and Blaire's, Laura uploads the embarrassing video of her on Facebook, but in this video, which she dubs "the extended edition", Blaire is revealed to be the laughing cameraman saying "I got her". Speechless, Blaire realises that there is no turning back as Laura simply tells her that her mistake will live on the Internet forever. As Blaire's Facebook account becomes flooded with angry Facebook users blaming her for Laura's death by betraying her stating that Blaire could kill herself and called her a monster, Laura tells Blaire that she wishes she could forgive her, then signs off Skype. Finally manifesting herself for her best friend, Laura invades Blaire's house. Meanwhile, Blaire hears her bedroom door creak open. Creating silhouetted hands that appear and suddenly close Blaire's laptop (revealing the movie to be in first person), Blaire whispered out to Laura and as soon as she did Laura's ghost jumps out making a terrifying angry face and attacks Blaire, who unleashes one final scream either of agony or terror. It's unknown if Laura killed Blaire or just scared her.
- It was theorized among fans that the true identity of Billie227 may be the parents, the uncle or the boyfriend of Laura Barns. However, while they could have manipulated Blaire's friends to kill themselves by leading them to think that they were Laura's ghost, it would be very unlikely that one of them could have went dressed as a demonic Laura to Blaire's house and kill her. Maybe it could have been a coincidence that Laura's spirit decided to kill Blaire just the same day in which Laura's parents, uncle or boyfriend decided to avenge her, but then again, it's very unlikely.
- In real life, the username Billie227 is used by many different users, none bearing any real resemblance to the actual username from the movie itself.
- However, since the release of the stand-alone sequel Unfriended: Dark Web, some fans have speculated that Laura never came back as a ghost in reality and the ones who killed Blaire and her friends were members of The Circle, the sequel's main antagonistic faction, speculating that perhaps one member disguised himself as Laura's ghost when he/she came to kill Blaire. This is believed because the second-to-last file of The Circle's snuff videos is called Laura. If this is true, this would make Laura Barns just the posthumous Heavy of Unfriended.
- The original title of the film was Cybernatural. However, this was changed so to hide the obvious from viewers of the film.
- However, Cybernatural is what it's called in different regions, in other regions, a different movie with the same premise called "Friend Request", is called "Unfriend."
- It is heavily implied that Laura went to Hell after committing suicide since according to Laura Barns' Facebook profile, her religious views are Catholic and historically, Catholicism viewed suicide as a mortal (even unpardonable, in some cases) sin and thus, those who committed it was often denied Christian burials. This explains why when Val threatened to hurt her at her place, Laura responds cryptically "You wouldn't like it here". This could also explain why Laura killed Jess in a slow and painful manner when it's revealed that Jess was the one who vandalized her grave and why Laura got her demonic powers in the first place.