HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Five Fingers for Marseilles
Jupiter's Moon
Favourite, The
Mysteries of the Gods
Coming Home
De Sade
Patti Cake$
Hellbound
Final Destination 2
Romance
Bros: After the Screaming Stops
Cockleshell Heroes, The
Mule, The
Sunday in the Country
Nutcracker Fantasy
Spellcaster
Hipsters
Executive Action
Captain Marvel
Zombie Girl
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Rhinoceros
Monkey King 3, The
Adventurers, The
Stripped to Kill
Daughter of Dr. Jekyll
Aladdin's Magic Lamp
Christopher Robin
Hole in the Ground, The
Daniel
Blue Christmas
Death Trip
She's Missing
Return of the Soldier
Shaft
Summer Lovers
Robert the Bruce
Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings, The
Kindergarten Teacher, The
Carne
   
 
Newest Articles
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
   
 
  Unsane The (Drugs) TrialBuy this film here.
Year: 2018
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharaoh, Amy Irving, Juno Temple, Polly McKie, Aimee Mullins, Raúl Castillo, Sarah Stiles, Mark Kudisch, Colin Woodell, Zach Cherry, Michael Mihm, Robert Kelly, Emily Happe, Gibson Frazier, Erin Wilhelmi, Matt Damon
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Sawyer Valentini (Claire Foy) is a no-nonsense businesswoman who is climbing the corporate ladder by being very effective at her job, at times ruthlessly so. However, when she is called into her boss's office and told how well she is doing, then that he would like to go away on a conference weekend with her and her alone, she makes her excuses and begins to suffer a crisis of confidence since the unwanted encounter has dredged up memories of when she was stalked by a disturbed man, David Strine (Joshua Leonard). She thought she had put that behind her yet feels the need to check in for an appointment with a counsellor just to set her head straight. This will be a big mistake...

Unsane was apparently as much a technical exercise as it was a chance to dabble in the horror field for director Steven Soderbergh, here working from a screenplay by James Greer and Jonathan Bernstein. He essentially shot it on his phone, which presumably would be a very good advertisement for the manufacturer involved for though you could detect the picture was not quite up to the standard set by cameras specifically designed for the purpose, it was certainly clear and the sound was easy enough to make out the dialogue from. When it came to the actual plot, however, many were keen to point out it left much to be desired, not standing up to scrutiny.

When you accepted this was more or less an update of those nineteen-sixties psycho-horrors complete with pseudo-psychological explanations for either how the heroine was landed in a mental treatment facility, or how the bad guy was managing to have such a hold over her, then you would get along with the director's games playing a lot better. Soderbergh was in trickster mode once again, possibly his favourite style, and the suspicion he was having a laugh at both his characters and his audience was rarely far away, so if you could take that approach and accept the filmmaker's joke was well and truly on you for the duration, it was an experience that could legitimately amuse.

When mental health professionals clapped eyes on this, hoping for a solid representation of their work, they were understandably let down when everything here was not interested in being faithful to the hospital treatment, and far more keen to set up situations where its heroine could be in great peril. In that manner there was a hefty dose of Franz Kafka to the narrative, not completely out of the blue since Soderbergh's second feature had been a fantastical biopic of the renowned writer, and his method of tackling the paranoia Sawyer was suffering was more like a nightmare scenario than anyone potentially trapped in the mental illness cycle would likely experience. The main worry is that it would put off the genuinely ill from seeking help, if this was the sort of care they could expect to receive.

But it was more apparent as the plot progressed that Unsane was absurd, and happy to embrace that preposterousness, never mind the dedication the cast applied themselves with. Foy was convincingly brittle as the reluctant patient, so that in the early stages you would be unsure if she was committed for the good of Sawyer's health, or whether there was a conspiracy against her, and support from Jay Pharaoh (whose character has smuggled a lifeline of a phone) and Juno Temple (whose character is incarcerated for very good reasons, that much is plain) ensured this was at least entertaining on a basic horror movie level. Of course, there were going to be nitpickers, and there were some monster-sized nits to pick, but accept you were in movieland and you would have a pretty good time, the chief misgivings being that mental health stigma remained a problem, and material like this was not helping. Music by Thomas Newman (under a pseudonym).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 436 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Steven Soderbergh  (1963 - )

Versatile American writer, director and producer whose Sex Lies and Videotape made a big splash at Cannes (and its title has become a cliche). There followed an interesting variety of small films: Kafka, King of the Hill, noir remake The Underneath, Schizopolis (which co-starred his ex-wife) and Gray's Anatomy.

Then came Out of Sight, a smart thriller which was successful enough to propel Soderbergh into the big league with The Limey, Erin Brockovich, Oscar-winning Traffic and classy remake Ocean's 11. When Full Frontal and his Solaris remake flopped, he made a sequel to Ocean's 11 called Ocean's 12, material he returned to with Ocean's 13. Che Guevara biopics, virus thriller Contagion and beat 'em up Haywire were next, with the director claiming he would retire after medication thriller Side Effects and Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra. He returned after a period of even greater activity with heist flick Logan Lucky and his first horror, Unsane.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: