Steven Soderbergh’s bold venture into the horror scene would display his usual flair for the experimental by shooting the entire thing on an iPhone and utilising the sublime acting ability of Claire Foy, who seems to be on a massive trajectory right now following The Crown. Keep an eye out for The Girl in the Spider’s Web and First Man, both due out later in the year.
Foy certainly owns this movie too, eking out every ounce of her physical and mental prowess to deliver a cracking turn as an incredibly unhinged Sawyer Valentini. Her intrinsic mannerisms have you questioning her actions from the outset as she appears quite reserved and a little rude with one of her colleagues, to then venture outside the office building to talk with her mother, fabricating every detail of her day in order to appease, before venturing back inside. This leaves you wondering who is Sawyer Valentini?
The plotline takes a significant left turn however when Sawyer is committed into a mental institute for 24 hours after she visits a counselor and unwittingly signs a consent form volunteering her to do so.
Once inside, she tries to pull all the stops to be released but has a violent encounter with a fellow patient, Violet (a magnificent Juno Temple) and she has to resort to calling her mum (Amy Irving – Carrie, The Fury) to try and bail her out.
The convoluted narration has a few more twists up its sleeve though as we discover one of the doctors happens to be her stalker that she has been trying to run away from. The stalker in question is played by Joshua Leonard (Blair Witch Project) lends weight to the strength of the casting in this film as he excels as the main antagonist, David.
There’s even a superb cameo from Matt Damon as Detective Ferguson, who advises Sawyer on how to stay protected from her stalker.
The twists and turns that Jonathan Bernstein and James Greer provide with their screenplay is both Unsane’s genius and its Achilles heel as the viewer is dragged along Sawyer’s descent into hell through a crazed labyrinth before a climax that questions all that has unfolded.
People will either love or hate this film, there’s no in-between. It took me a little while to register my feelings towards Unsane as I was mesmerized by Foy’s performance on screen, proving she is a force to be reckoned with. And yet, the storyline can leave you a little baffled and unsure of how it makes you feel by the time the end credits roll.