Unsane (2018)

This entire film was shot on an iPhone. I think that’s an important point to start out on. With that knowledge, you admire the shots, you gaze at the beauty and creativity of some of the scenes. Without it, it looks incredibly amateur, the colours don’t match from shot to shot, with some scenes looking incredibly washed out. There are some places where it really worked, some of the long shots of the main character shot like it made it seem slightly voyeuristic, like the audience were following her without her permission, which REALLY suited with the script content (a great example of using filming techniques to compliment the tone of the story, one of the best I’ve seen in a while if I’m honest). Also, there were moments where the filming methods made her look slightly insane, like her reality wasn’t quite right. Again, for those moments it worked. But when you apply those same filming techniques to her just sitting there eating lunch whilst talking to her mum, it just seems a bit weird and pointless. It would be like doing a slow-motion sequence of someone taking a dump.

This film would have been great as a concept short, just to prove it can be done. And if it must be a full length I don’t think it should have been a cinema release, I’d have been a lot more receptive to this if it was a netflix release. But cinema, you have different expectations. You’ve invested more in a cinema release, not just money (seriously, I love my cineworld card), but also the time to get there, and being forced to stick to someone elses schedule. At home it’s different, you can watch it when you want, you can even pause it to go make a cup of tea in the middle if you want. You’ve invested less, so you have (not so much less) but different expectations, you’re more open to experimentation.

Now onto the weirdest down for this film, and I warn you this contains spoilers: too much Matt Damon. He has a random cameo in it and it’s really jarring. Because of how realistic the film is played, you forget you’re watching a film, you kind of feel like you’re watching almost like a found footage movie. Then he appears and you remember you’re watching a film. Also, is “unannounced Matt Damon cameo” now a trope? It seems to happen a lot lately. I’m now just going to assume he’s in every single film I watch from now, including porn (especially porn).

All of this is a shame because otherwise, it’s a pretty good film, the performances are pretty good, a lot of acclaim will go towards Claire Foy and Joshua Leonard, but I think more attention needs to go to Juno Temple. Her performance in this is so unsettling it’s a shame she’s not given more screen time. Her character, and the way that she plays her, are so well done it’s like they could be the main character in a horror film.

So to sum up: a Blockbuster film. By which I mean: it would have been the perfect film to rent a few times from a video store back in the day, but you don’t need it in your collection. Unless you’re a film student, in which case you’re probably going to be shown it by your lecturer a few times.

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