Bleecker Street has released the first trailer for Unsane, a horror movie shot entirely on an iPhone by director/cinematographer/camera operator Steven Soderbergh. Yes indeed, after a self-imposed retirement that led him to helming two seasons of the brilliant Cinemax series The Knick, Soderbergh is back in full force—but he’s making very different kinds of things. Chronologically, he first made the “branched narrative” app Mosaic for HBO, which he also cut into a six-hour limited series version that’s now available on HBO On Demand. Then he made the sorely underseen, wildly entertaining “hillbilly heist” movie Logan Lucky, which hit theaters last summer. And now we’ve got Unsane.
Soderbergh shot this movie entirely on an iPhone, which has been done before by filmmakers like Sean Baker and Park Chan-wook, but given Soderbergh’s penchant for experimentation is mighty exciting in this instance. This horror pic was made on the way down low with The Crown star Claire Foy in the lead, and Soderbergh will be crafting the marketing campaign himself like he did with Logan Lucky, tweaking the approach using the lessons he learned from that box office disappointment.
The story follows a woman who’s convinced she sees her stalker everywhere, and who inadvertently admits herself to a psych ward. There, she continues to see her stalker and wonders whether she’s actually crazy, or if she’s in grave danger. This very much looks like Soderbergh having an absolute blast, and given that he’s a tremendously talented visual artist, I can’t wait to see him put his talents towards scaring the pants off of audiences. The iPhone cinematography is jarring, but it definitely feels like it works within the realm of this psychological thriller. Bring it.
Watch the Unsane trailer below. The film also stars Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah, Juno Temple, Aimee Mullins, and Amy Irving. Unsane opens in theaters on March 23rd.