There’s something you should know about Unsane: it was filmed entirely on an iPhone Seven Plus. Yup, that’s right. Acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh‘s latest movie, a psychological-horror film, was filmed using an iPhone. Let that novelty sink in.
Unsane is not an easy film to watch. The story of a woman confined to a mental institution after being pursued by a stalker, it’s a disturbing tale that’s packed with unsettling moments. The narrative constantly has you questioning if what you’re watching is real or not, and that makes for a tense viewing experience. Unfortunately it kind of falls apart by the end. It’s never boring, but the final 15 minutes are completely unnecessary, and lessen the impact of what could have been a very powerful ending.
As for the iPhone gimmick, the film’s look is predictably less flashy than what we’re used to. Nevertheless, the worn-out and unpolished look serves the story well, seeing as how the entire thing takes place in a dreary and depressing mental hospital. Soderbergh utilized a number of iPhones which he attached different lenses to, and that helps add some diversity to the cinematography.
As the heroine at the center of the story, Claire Foy is a revelation. The actress has garnered breakout success as the star of the most expensive show on television, Neflix’s The Crown, and she’s shockingly fantastic here. I thought I would have a hard time picturing the actress in a horror film, but she’s extremely believable in the role. She taps into her character’s paranoia beautifully, and brings to life just the right dose of vulnerability and determination. She’s truly the best thing about the film and I can’t wait to see what project she tackles next.
Unsane is a creepy and moderately successful experiment. Claire Foy is exceptional, but the script could have been stronger.