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The Circle, or The Charons, are the main antagonists of the 2018 horror film Unfriended: Dark Web.

They were portrayed by Douglas Tait, Rob Welsh, Alexander Ward, Kurt Carley, Chuck Lines, Kiara Beltran, and Eric Watson.

Description

The Circle is a group of violent cybercriminals and hackers who communicate on the Dark Web through a multi-layer protocol called "The River" (which is similar to Tor, but apparently more sophisticated, with more layers). They call themselves Charons, in reference to the mythological figure of the same name, who carries souls to the Hades (the Greek underworld).

They are sadistic and enjoy committing torture and murder and systematically incriminating innocent people for their crimes, which includes breaking into their homes. They are also extremely efficient hackers, who can easily invade systems, Skype calls, Facebook accounts and pretty much anything on a computer, including even hospital life support systems, which they can turn off at will. This is all done for the sadistic entertainment of the whole group in the "game nights".

The Circle has tens of thousands of members. The poll at the end and other information seen on screen suggest a membership of at least 26,000 people from all around the world, of both genders and several races.

Events

During the events of the movie, the Charons mastermind a trap for the protagonist Matias and his friends to fall for, although this is only revealed towards the end. They manage to incriminate all them for their kidnapping and torturing of several young women.

One of Charons leaves a laptop at a cyber café lost-and-found. Matias finds it and successfully figures out the password. He takes it home and, impressed with its superior speed and performance compared to his old computer, starts using it to communicate through Facebook, Skype and other applications with his deaf girlfriend Amaya and friends Damon, AJ, Lexx, Serena, and Nari.

However, Matias soon starts receiving messages in the Facebook account of the laptop's owner, apparently named "Norah C. IV". One of the messages comes from a person who claims to be Norah himself, demanding his laptop back through a friend's account. Matias agrees to take the laptop back to where he found immediately, but before he can leave his home, another account starts talking to him, asking him to log into a software called The River to negotiate a purchase which was already paid for.

Matias checks Norah's bitcoin wallet and finds out that the amount equivalent to 10 million dollars was just deposited into there. He then (at this point sharing the screen with his friends) enters The River, which is revealed to be a darknet whose all members are named Charon followed by numbers. He talks to the Charon who made the purchase, who wants Norah to record a video drilling a hole into a girl's skull and inserting something there. Matias' friends are all shocked by this and demand him to leave The River, which he does.

As Matias looks further into his new computer, he notices a whole series of disturbing videos of young women being tortured and killed, intended apparently for sale on the dark web. Matias and his friends then become the victims of the Circle members, some of which photoshop a picture of Matias over one member's head, then proceed to kill each of Matias's friends to try to force him to bring back the laptop that they accuse him of stealing.

Matias denies all their claims, swearing that the picture of him was photoshopped, but all Circle members then begin to accuse him again and chase him around, even trying to kill Amaya who they claim that they kidnapped her. Matias then goes on his bike to go to Amaya's house and Damon tries to copy everything on the laptop to try to track the laptop's location and turn the information over to the authorities in an attempt to bring down the Circle.

However, the Circle remains several steps ahead of him; they quickly photoshop Matias's head onto the body of one of their agents in one of the videos to frame him for it, leave one of the unconscious victims in Matias's apartment while he's out, kill Damon and make it look like a suicide, and leave a phony suicide note on Damon's computer which makes it falsely appear that he has confessed he and his friends were the ones who committed the abductions and murders seen on the videos.

Amaya tries to call Matias, who had called her earlier to tell her something, but Matias discovers that the Circle hacked his messages and made Amaya go to the factory where she gets attacked by a Circle member. Matias demands to know why they are doing this, at which they tell him "game night" meaning they did it for their entertainment in their periodic show. They then post a poll to decide Matias' fate, whether to live or die like all his friends. Most of the Circle members vote for him to die and Matias gets run over by a van driven by a Circle member.

As the movie ends, the audience sees each member of the Circle take off their masks and smile at each other from the scenes of their crimes and some of them laugh silently at the success of their criminal activities, still covering their half of their face, as in the end it is revealed that everything seen in the movie was filmed by the laptop of another member of the Circle who was monitoring the whole thing.

Alternate endings

Second ending

Just after the death of Damon, Matias takes his bike and texts Amaya to go join him where they had their first kiss. He arrives at the place first, where he tries to text her again, but then gets attacked by a Charon, who puts him in a casket and buries him alive. Amaya arrives at the place but doesn't see Matias. Matias tries to text her to tell her where he is, but the Circle interferes and alters his text to read "I wish I could sign better". Matias tries video chat, but again the Circle interferes with that. Amaya gets confused and does not understand what he says, leaving Matias to die.

Third ending

The third ending is on DVD/Blu-ray. Amaya arrives at the same time as Matias after he texts her to meet him on the spot where they shared their first kiss, but both of them are attacked by the Circle members who want to kill them as the pool to know if Matias and Amaya should live was about to reach "No". Charon I receives a message from Charon IX, showing Matias' video message saying that he will give back the money to the Circle if Erica Dunne, who they kidnapped earlier, is returned to her home safe, which the audience finally vote "Yes" to let them live. Matias and Amaya embrace after they are both saved.

Victims

  • Kelly - Suffocated off-screen by Charon IV with a plastic bag.
  • DJ Lexx Putri - Pushed off a tall building by one of the Charons.
  • Alistair "AJ" Jeffcock - Shot to death by SWAT team members as they were lured by the Charons, who made up a false terrorist threat in AJ's name and reproduced the sound of a shotgun loading to make them further aggressive.
  • Serena's mother - Taken off life support by 1337 H4CK3R7.
  • Nari Jemisin - Pushed off from a subway station and hit by a subway train with one of the Charons.
  • Serena Lange - Killed off-screen by one of the Charons.
  • Damon Horton - Hanged by one of the Charons in a staged suicide.
  • Amaya DeSoto - Snatched away off-screen by one of the Charons. (Amaya survives in the second ending.)
  • Matias O'Brian - Run down by one of the Charons in a van. (Matias survives in the second ending.)
    • Total - 10
      • 4 men (counting the Charon who tried to push Nani and was hit by the subway train with her)
      • 6 women

Erica Dunne, although captured and tortured by the Charons, is not known to have died, and is eventually left alive (albeit with the hole on her skull) by the Charons at Matias' home for them to incriminate him. So there is a reasonable possibility that she was found and taken care of later. However, it is possible (though not proved) that the trephination severely affected her health and even led to her eventual death later.

Gallery

Videos

Trivia

  • In contrast of Laura Barns, the main antagonist of the first film, who was a demonic being who sought revenge for her suicide, The Circle are actual human beings and normal people unlike Laura, though that it could be seen that they were far more dangerous than Laura, as she just sought justice for her death against the people who made her life miserable and even so she offered them the opportunity to redeem themselves (though their attitudes eventually lead Laura to get angry and kill them) while The Circle just killed people for diversion (including for their sadistic entertainment) and had no mercy.
    • Furthermore, it has been speculated by some fans that Laura Barns' ghost wasn't real after all but a member of The Circle disguised, leading to speculation that members of the Circle killed Blaire Lily and her friends and just made it look that it was Laura's ghost. This is believed because the second-to-last file from the Circle's snuff videos is called Laura. If this is true, this would not only make the Circle the true Big Bad of Unfriended, but the overarching antagonistic faction of the franchise as a whole.
  • The Circle is very organized, powerful and influential, and has agents all over the world who work in a variety of professions, including law enforcement. This is shown by the fact that they were able to target and kill Damon (who lived in London) along with Matias and the rest of his friends (who all lived somewhere in Southern California), and because one of the Circle agents seen smiling from the scene of one of the deaths is revealed to be a corrupt police officer.

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Unfriended
Adam Sewell | Blaire Lily | Jess Felton | Laura Barns | Mitch Roussel | Val Rommel

Unfriended: Dark Web
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