If you enjoy an entertaining thriller, read ahead.
Unsane opens with a very creepy male voice speaking while the camera pans over the woods before we are introduced to Sawyer (Claire Foy). Within a matter of moments, we gain an understanding of Sawyer’s life at work and the type of person she. As the viewer, we also see some of the things that make feel her uncomfortable and paranoid. Claire struggles to focus on her job and live a healthy, happy, everyday life. Sawyer decides to get support by, speaking with a local doctor to open up about her current situation and her past. After signing a form for some further testing, Sawyer is put in a mental institution where the other patients are all dealing with significant issues. Sawyer feels the sudden push into a mental hospital is an outrage and demands to be freed so she can go back to her healthy life. Her doctors do not agree.
Is Sawyer crazy? The things she is seeing- are they real or simply created within her mind? And more importantly, is Sawyer a risk to others around her, potentially hurting them?
The start of the film fair amount of information as to who Sawyer is. To be honest, she’s somewhat of a brute. She speaks her mind and knows what she wants. It is also evident that Sawyer has a very dark and hidden past. As the film progresses, we get little elements of information.
For those who are unaware, Unsane’s film aspect ratio is very different from the usual style shown in cinema today. The reason for this is that the film is entirely shot using an iPhone 7 Plus camera (yep, a mobile phone!). Often this means that when there are people in the same frame, the image may have a slight fish-eye look. At no point did the image quality disappointment me, and if anything, I was impressed at the final results. Given the fact that the film is a creepy thriller, the fish eye aspect helps with creating uncomfortable tension and making the audience feeling isolated.
As far as plot is concerned, the film is enjoyable and carries a few surprises. The story wasn’t predictable and managed to surprise the audience with little elements, including a cameo from a well-known actor playing a detective in the film. The film itself did struggle slightly during the third and final act. For me, there were some perfect scenes where the film could have ended, but unfortunately, the film kept going and began to drag.
Overall Unsane is a solid thriller and will at times make audience members feel isolated. There are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing, but the film’s third and final act does drag on further than what I would have preferred. The filming style and use of an iPhone to film is impressive to see, and the results are far better than what one would have expected.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden