While some people may think that a film shot on a smart phone or camcorder could never be seen by a large audience, films like these are made each year.
Director Steven Soderbergh chose to work with a small budget and a highly unique filming method for his most recent film “Unsane.” The entire film was shot exclusively in 4k on an iPhone 7 Plus and was made for a production budget of 1.5 million dollars. While the slightly grainy cinematography can be somewhat distracting early on, it is easy to get used to and very refreshing to watch. This type of film proves that not too many recourses are needed to make a movie.
The film follows a young woman named Sawyer who has been victimized by a relentless stalker. After applying at what she believes to be a support group, she learns to her horror that she has unwillingly agreed to be kept at a mental hospital. While trapped at the hospital, Sawyer also discovers that her stalker may have followed her there.
From the opening shots of this film, it is apparent that the movie is attempting to be filmed in an unpolished way. The film appropriately feels like security camera footage and portrays the constant feeling of being watched. The cinematography is unorthodox and highly chilling.
Claire Foy gives a convincing performance as a damaged woman. There are moments in this film where she becomes utterly overwhelmed and erupts with terror. Her character is given depth with flashbacks and compelling storytelling methods.
Joshua Leonard plays David Strine the man who has been stalking Sawyer. His character is provided with surprisingly sympathetic moments. While he is never painted in a good light, you can always understand his motivations. Towards the third act of the film, he and Sawyer share dialogue which delves into their deep psychological roots. David Strine is a character who is given surprising depth to his utterly despicable character.
In regards to issues with the film, the beginning of the movie has lighting which seems oversaturated and becomes somewhat distracting. While Sawyer is a likable protagonist, she often makes poor decisions which usually create scenes of conflict. Towards the end of the film however, she becomes creative with her situation and approaches obstacles intelligently.
This movie has been mismarketed with trailers selling the film as a horror movie. The film is more of a drama about the terror of stalking victims from a unique prospective. “Unsane” is shot in an eerie and unpolished. The film has incredible performances and characters. Being filmed on an iPhone, this movie could easily serve as inspiration to a generation of new filmmakers.
Movie Rating: 7.5/10