FILM REVIEW | Unsane (2018)

Hey guys! Remember when Dario Argento's Tenebre  came out here in the states...and they neutered the fuck out of the film and called it...Unsane? And then a band came out in the 80's who weren't really punk or hardcore and called themselves Unsane, too? Yeah...well Steven Soderbergh's latest has nothing to do with those last two things. We should talk about this film...yeah? me a few seconds. Cool.

Steven Soderbergh's Unsane  (shot using an iPhone 7 PLUS!!!) kept me up the other night until like 2:30 in the morning. I finished watching it at like midnight...and then thought a lot about everything that happened in the film. Whenever a film does that to me...I end up scoring it pretty high. I got in trouble with a good friend of mine because I really enjoyed last year's The Killing of a Sacred Dear...and my friend hated it...thus losing most of my credibility with said friend. But...I couldn't help it. Killing of a Sacred Dear...REALLY resonated with me. Really made me think of so much...thus causing my brain to spiral into an abyss of provocative reflection and theoretical useless doo doo. So...I had to recommend that film to anyone within earshot. Apologies to said friend. (Not really.) So...after I was done watching Unsane...I felt the same sort of thing. An instinctive desire to go on my Facebook...or whatever-the-fuck...and stretch my cinematic tentacles as far as I order to find my Unsane  soulmate...Hentai-style. But, I didn't. Instead...I just shut the Sony off...crept to my bed...and just laid there...staring at the dark ceiling. Wondering about Sawyer Valentini...and her troubles.

Joshua Leonard plays quite the creepy creeper in this film.

It's that kind of film, ladies and Deviants. It's a film that you end up really thinking about as the days go forward. Thinking about mental illness and the ways that the "wellness" facilities and insurance companies work together to fuck people matter if the patients truly need the help...or if they are mild cases. Fucking crazy subject matter...and it is all handled with the precision of a seasoned filmmaker. I'm sorry. Did I say crazy? That's kind of insensitive...huh? Make believe I said zany, instead. Anyway....the seasoned filmmaker in this case is none other than Mr. Steven Soderbergh...a man who has dabbled in genre fare before, with his film Contagion...which was actually quite riveting...and tackled the widespread paranoia and social breakdown of killer diseases. He's got a way of cranking up the tension...exactly where he needs to...without ever feeling too forced...or whatever. Soderbergh does that kinda stuff with the Oceans well as some of the other stuff that he's done. Unsane, which has nothing to do with Argento's butchering of his giallo masterpiece, we follow a mentally unstable individual by the name of Sawyer Valentini (played by the talented Claire Foy). She's mentally unstable because of a past incident with a crazed stalker...forcing her to relocate from Boston to Pennsylvania. During a consultation with a therapist to work out some of the anxiety that she's feeling, Sawyer unwittingly signs herself up for a 24-hour voluntary commitment to the Highland Creek Behavioral Center...where all hell breaks loose. Almost immediately...Sawyer questions what in the lemur cock is going on...and why can't she leave the place. It gets terrifying pretty quickly...once we hop on board the insanity bus. The film is certainly heightened by all of the great performances...including Juno Temple as Sawyer's mental hospital neighbor...and freakin Jay Pharoah as Sawyer's only ally on the inside. Also...Amy Irving!!! That was such a nice surprise.

I don't know if you can feel my excitement about seeing Amy Irving in a film...but fucking aye, guys...IT'S AMY IRVING!!!

Speaking of casting surprises...someone shows up late in the film...during an investigation montage that completely shifts the entire tone into something that feels more in place in an Oceans 11  film. This was my only complaint that I can muster...because, for my just felt so fucking off compared to the rest of the film. I'm not gonna go into it too much to avoid any kind of spoilers...but, you will know it when you see it. Soderbergh goes out of his way to establish such an airtight psychological thriller...that when this particular montage takes just feels so goddamn wrong-headed and sticks out like a sore elephant dick.

Still...Unsane  is quite the breath of fresh far as genre films go. It is among the very best in the land of the RedBox rental...and you cannot go wrong with bringing home this dollar rental and pairing it with another psychological thriller from the 70's (believe me...there are tons), which it feels like Soderbergh was going for. I will also note...that Claire Foy is exceptional in this film...but, I can't see her playing Lisbeth Salander in the upcoming Girl in the Spider's Web  film. I dunno...I hope I'm wrong...but, I just don't see it. Anyway...check out Unsane, not related in anyway to Argento's masterpiece...but, it's still one of the year's best...I promise.

Claire Foy is Sawyer Valentini. Is she crazy? Or are we crazy? Maybe it's both. Maybe it's just me. It's probably just me.

Thanks for reading,