Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Unsane’ is an Engaging, Unsettling Psychological Thriller

Costume SuperCentre Canada

Unsane

Thankfully, Steven Soderbergh’s retirement was short-lived. Last year he returned to feature films with the delightful hillbilly heist flick Logan Lucky. Now the acclaimed director returns with the genre thriller Unsane, which is probably getting the most attention because Soderbergh shot the film entirely on an iPhone. What could easily be written off as a simple gimmick is so much more, as Soderbergh uses Unsane as a means to take a genre twist on the warped healthcare industry in America while crafting a solid, unsettling thriller that also tackles long-standing trauma and how we as a society rarely listen to victims.

Sawyer (Claire Foy) is young professional working in a bank. She’s been dealing with the trauma of a stalker that has left a lingering effect on her psyche, unsure if the next bearded man she encounters is her stalker. Sawyer seeks counseling for her lingering problems at Highland Creek, a local hospital. She signs some forms after chatting with her therapist, only to find herself trapped within the hospital. Sawyer has been declared a danger to herself and others by this new therapist and thus must be institutionalized for a 48 hour period. Horrified at the prospect of a forced stay in a psychiatric institution, Sawyer lashes out violently which only means that her stay will be extended to a week. Things get even worse for Sawyer when she becomes convinced that one of the male nurses in the hospital (Joshua Leonard) is the stalker that had terrorized her in the past.

There’s a sense of “Is she or isn’t she?” as to the topic of Sawyer’s sanity. Her interactions with fellow patients vary wildly, with a kindly and understanding one (Jay Pharoah) and a violent and unstable one (Juno Temple). Soderbergh’s use of the iPhone my not be the most aesthetically pleasing cinematic device, but the digitized images from an imperfect piece of technology adds to the sense of unease that permeates throughout Unsane. Using an iPhone, Soderbergh starts out shooting the film with very few camera movements, rarely showing the limitations of the device when in motion. As the story escalates, Soderbergh abandons the static camera and yet retains a judicious sense of the limitations, though the imperfections of the technology amplify the overwhelming uncertainty. While Unsane’s iPhone photography may come across as a gimmick, it often works in sync with the unsettling aspects of the storyline.

Once Unsane begins to ramp up its action with a series of reveals that are most obviously spoilers, Foy asserts herself as a commanding leading lady in a way that those who weren’t fans of The Crown have yet to see. One aspect that is not a spoiler is the idea that Highland Creek exploits the cries for help of their patients to institutionalize them and bleed their insurance carrier dry. It’s an interesting genre twist on the broken aspects of our health care system, one that Soderbergh has explored in recent films like Contagion and Side Effects. The screenplay by Jonathan Bernstein and James Greer cuts right into the heart of how patients and victims of abuse, mainly women, are rarely listened to by authorities. Those suffering with mental illness or have been traumatized by abuse are told to take their pills and tough it out, which in this particular case isn’t much of a solution and Soderbergh uses it as an effective horror device.

Unsane may be a minor work by Soderbergh, it’s still a fun piece of genre fare with a bit more on its mind than central question of its main character’s sanity. The film definitely veers into some violent trashy territory that some may find objectionable, but I was rapt by this unsettling psychological thriller that sees Soderbergh utilizing new technology to make daring genre films on the cheap. I may not love the aesthetic from the iPhone-shot cinematography, but I’d happily take this over a self-imposed retirement any day.

YogaOutlet.com

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
The Cult Classic ‘Liquid Sky’ Finally Comes to Blu-ray

Usually when someone uses the phrase avant-garde, I instantly think of...

Deon Taylor’s ‘Traffik’ Clears Up

Deon Taylor’s Traffik is an action thriller that follows Brea (Paula...

Super Troopers 2
‘Super Troopers 2’ Commits to Lazy, Uninspired Jokes About Canadians

The comedy troupe Broken Lizard created the cult comedy Super Troopers...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Ripstone Games Announces ‘The Spectrum Retreat’ Coming This Year

BAFTA YGD Award Winner Dan Smith brings The Spectrum Retreat to PlayStation 4, Xbox...

Point-and-Click Horror Game Without Escape Heading to Steam

Myst-like point-and-click horror game Without Escape heading to Steam, itch.io and Windows...

Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr Release Date

Lesquin, FRANCE – April 19, 2018 – Neocore and Bigben, along...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
8.5/10
Bloodshot Salvation #8

Bloodshot Salvation #8  Story by: Jeff Lemire Art by: Renato Guedes Release...

VIZ Media Announces New Manga Acquisitions at C2E2 2018

New Titles Announced For Publication Include Junji Ito’s FRANKENSTEIN, The JUNI...

Japanese Metal Dance Unit BABYMETAL Becomes a Graphic Novel!

Z2 Comics Announces APOCRYPHA: THE LEGEND OF BABYMETAL, An Original Graphic...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
MSI Unveils New Line of Gaming Laptops Powered by Intel 8th Generation Processors

The new line includes GS65 Stealth Thin; the GT75 Titan, the...

Brewery Ommegang and HBO® announce Queen of the Seven Kingdoms Beer

Brewery Ommegang and HBO® announce Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, second beer in Game...

New 120Hz Model of Critically-Acclaimed 35-Inch Curved AGON Gaming Monitor

AOC Announces New 120Hz Model of its Critically-Acclaimed 35-Inch Curved AGON...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Bas Rutten Talks Kicking Opioid Addiction with the Help of Receptra CBD Oil

  One of the most decorated MMA champions and UFC Hall...

Roxy Astor Meets With GLOW…the Netflix Version

As much as people love drama, there was nothing but love...

LFC 25 Showdown at Sam’s Town Full Results

Updating the tradition of Foxy Boxing in what I like to...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
COMICS on the CAN – X-CLUB!

Science Hoooooo! The X-Club pulls out the super bork on eleven...

Samo Says – Easter in Jerusalem, Finding Holiness in the Face of Temptation

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them...

Adult Continuity – Defenders XXX

Who wants to see a low budget porn parody of the...

Event News Event Reviews
FINAL FANTASY XIV Orchestra Concert 2018 – Eorzean Symphony

FINAL FANTASY XIV Orchestra Concert 2018 – Eorzean Symphony Performed live...

Back To The Beach Festival Returns to Surf City April 28th and 29th

KROQ, Travis Barker and John Feldmann come together to announce Back...

Wondercon Anaheim 2018 in Photos

Last weekend was Wondercon 2018 at the Anaheim Convention Center in...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming. Related

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

MTV Unveils Performers for ‘TRL Live’ on October 3rd at 3 p.m. E.T.

NEW YORK, NY (September 26, 2017) – MTV today announced that...

Long Beach Punk Band ‘Spider’ Rocks ‘It’s Not Dead’ Festival

Spider is a heavy hitting punk band out of Long Beach,...

%d bloggers like this: