This will end up being known as that iPhone movie!
Yep, Unsane was shot entirely with an iPhone 7 Plus. It’s not a new thing having a filmmaker shoot a theatrical feature using just a phone, but never has it been done by someone so well-established.
Oscar-winning Traffic director Steven Soderbergh’s (The Ocean Trilogy) new way of filmmaking surprisingly added to the drama, helping bring to life the paranoia of the protagonist.
The said protagonist is Sawyer Valentini (Claire Foy from TV’s The Crown), who’s Tinder date ends badly after she’s reminded of a stalker (The Blair Witch Project’s Joshua Leonard) from her past.
Haunted by her memories, Valentini speaks to a counsellor at her local mental health facility.
Before you know it, she’s asked to take drugs and strip down into her underwear.
It turns out she had inadvertently signed a form stating that she’d voluntarily commit herself for 24 hours.
Under tremendous stress, she attacks one of the doctors just hours later – resulting in a longer stay.
But things become even worse for her after she convinces herself that the stalker has become a member of staff at the facility – and she starts to question her sanity.
By far the best thing going for Unsane is Foy’s captivating performance.
From the start, she hooked me in. I felt her pain and, because of that, I genuinely cared for the character’s safety.
One criticism is that the question of whether or not her stalker is indeed working at the mental health facility is answered too quickly.
It’s a shame, as the story really picked up once this development surfaced.
Before walking into my screening, I thought my biggest issue may have been with the unique filmmaking style – using a phone – whereas it was the editing I mostly had problems with.
It’s almost like Unsane was edited by numerous people, each with their own unique style – with some techniques working and others not.
The result is a mixed bag of stunning cinematography one moment and amateurish (almost lazy) shots the next – which is disappointing given the talent involved.
By the end it literally drove me insane and deviated away from an initially interesting premise.