Unsane Review: Thrilling Pseudo-Docudrama

Unsane proudly wears its B-movie aesthetic and Soderbergh’s gambit pays off. The movie does benefit from his quick and dirty approach. Using close-ups, medium shots, and bare cinematography, the movie has a docudrama look and feel to it. Dimly lit halls and rooms establish a claustrophobic, isolated, and creepy atmosphere that adds suspense to the story.

Claire Foy and Joshua Leonard both gave great performances, and the rest of the cast does well with what they’re given. Despite their textbook characterizations, the script gives them something interesting to work with that they look like people trapped by their circumstances and issues.

While the story is really nothing more than a potboiler, there are a lot of things going on in its familiar structure that will keep you engaged.

A victim is pushed into a corner by both her stalker and the people who don’t believe her. Mental illness can be conveniently used for gaslighting. Mental institutions can prey on patients to fill their bed-capacity. A supposed treatment facility can turn into a prison where patients are reduced into a psychiatric diagnosis.

Unfortunately, though, Unsane prefers to be a rote stalker thriller with gaping plot holes. There’s not enough here to make the plot twist surprising and the story is predictable.

Nonetheless, Unsane does end on an interesting note – mental illness is far more complex than being a brain disorder or abnormal behavior.

Unsane is not going to pull any surprises, but it is executed well enough to do what it set out to do and doesn’t settle on a trope.



Unsane's social commentary, great performances, and docudrama aesthetic provide thrills to keep you engaged all throughout.

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