Unsane (2018) – Review

Unsane hits theaters on March 23rd.

Has there ever been a movie you were excited to see, but after having watched it, the film was a letdown? That was my experience viewing Unsane, the new psychological thriller from director Steven Soderbergh. I let my high expectations get the best of me, resulting in disappointment.

Let’s start with a positive. The entire cast is excellent. Claire Foy is extremely convincing as a woman held against her will in a mental hospital. She nails the role, elevating otherwise corny dialogue to believability. Jay Pharoah also shines in a minor role, proving he can one day achieve post-SNL fame. Joshua Leonard actually has the meatiest role of the movie, playing Sawyer’s (Foy) obsessed stalker.

Unsane is mainly a testament to how versatile Soderbergh is as a director. Logan Lucky, Magic Mike, Ocean’s Eleven, and countless other crowd favorites exist because he was at the helm. Unsane was shot entirely on an iPhone, and that risky decision doesn’t come off as a gimmick. In fact, if you didn’t go into the theater knowing that fact, I don’t think you’d even realize. The cinematography was one of the few standout aspects of the film.

Maybe I was underwhelmed because I thought this was a horror movie, which the marketing seemed to suggest. In reality, Unsane is without a doubt a thriller, but only the last third really terrifies you. Without spoiling any plot points, the story seems to be a critique of the American healthcare system, which I don’t think anyone was anticipating.

Speaking of the plot, the film is a slow burn. It takes time for the big reveal, and the buildup is necessary. Yet, I’m not sure it’s worth it. The first half of Unsane slogs through the motions, and it is hard to ignore the writing – no one talks like that!

Skip buying a ticket and wait for this flick to hit digitally.

I give Unsane a B-.

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