Steven Soderbergh takes on the horror genre through the intimate lens of an iPhone in Unsane. The new psychological thriller is an unrelenting assault of anxiety and paranoia that proves Soderbergh to be one of the most genre-flexible filmmakers working today. You can read Matt’s full review here, and watch our video review in the player above.
The Crown breakout Claire Foy stars in a commanding big-screen turn as Sawyer Valentini, a young woman who relocates tot a new city to escape her stalker (Joshua Leonard) but can’t escape the psychological trauma he inflicted on her. Paranoid and struggling to acclimate, Sawyer heads to a local psychologist for help but finds herself in an even worse predicament when she accidentally commits herself to the mental institution, and as if that’s not horrifying enough, Soderbergh adds a delicious Hitchcockian twist — once Sawyer’s locked up, she starts seeing her stalker around every corner, unsure if he’s found a way back into her life or if she really is losing her mind.
You can always count on Soderbergh to do something provocative and experimental, and this time around the groundbreaking filmmaker tries his hand at shooting a feature film entirely from an iPhone. Of course, he’s got some spectacular lenses and software to help boost the production value, but all the same, Unsane is an impressive use of every day technology to make an incredibly effective piece of paranoid art that tackles the abuses of the mental health industry while exploring a narrative about the abuses of women. Unfortunately, Soderbergh’s tightly wound tale of psychological torment begins to unravel in the third act, but Foy’s exquisite performance and all the neurotic, pulse-pounding tension that precede the unfortunate finale make Unsane a must-see in spite of its faults.
Here’s the official logline for Unsane:
A young woman is involuntarily committed to a mental institution where she is confronted by her greatest fear–but is it real or is it a product of her delusion?