Monday, July 9, 2018

Unsane Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
Academy Award-Winning director Steven Soderbergh plunges audiences into the suspense and drama of a resilient woman’s fight to reclaim her freedom even as she risks her own sanity. Still scarred from the trauma of being terrorized by a stalker, Sawyer Valentini (Claire Foy, The Crown) receives treatments at the HIgland Creek Behavioral Center. However, shortly after she unwittingly commits herself to the mental institution and is unable to leave, she catches sight of a facility staffer who, she is convinced, is actually her stalker. But is he real or a product of her delusion?
Film (3 out of 5 stars)
Sawyer Valentini has moved 450 miles away from home in order to escape her stalker. When she starts seeing him at her job, she visits an inpatient hospital to talk with a therapist. Once there, the therapist steers the conversation in order to involuntarily commit her to the facility. Sawyer tries her best to get out of it, going so far as to using her phone call to call 911, but when the police come, they only arrive as a routine and don’t even check on her.

As Sawyer tries to adjust to the facility, she is harassed by other patients, and continues trying to convince the staff that she doesn’t belong there. When receiving her meds one evening, she sees that her stalker, David, is the person distributing the meds. She freaks out and tells everyone who he really is, but of course, no one believes her. As the days go on, David psychologically tortures her by pretending he is not who Sawyer knows he is. When Sawyer’s mother arrives, she tries her best to get her daughter out of the hospital, but is blocked at every turn.

After another outburst by Sawyer, David finally gets her alone in solitary confinement and breaks her down. After her final outburst against David – yelling, insulting him, and threatening him – she accepts his offer of breakfast, and then talks to him like they have a future together. She requests that he bring in another patient in order to prove to her that he can be with another woman, but then tricks him and escapes. Unfortunately, David finds her and she wakes up in the trunk of his car with a dead body.

Meanwhile, a body is found in the woods and after identifying him, the police find that he is the real person who David has murdered and stolen his identity. This leads the police to investigate the death of another patient, Nate, who apparently died of an overdose, but was really murdered by David, after he saw that Nate and Sawyer were getting close. The rest you will have to see for yourself as I don't want to spoil the ending.

When I saw Unsane in the theater, I walked in thinking it was a horror movie, and was a bit disappointed to find out it wasn’t. However, I did greatly enjoy the story, and the suspense. Claire Foy does a great job as Sawyer, the woman who involuntarily commits herself to a mental hospital. Foy brings a sense of fear to the viewer and watching her try to maneuver her way through what is real and what might not be. Steven Soderbergh directed a story that it timely and resonates with many women.
Video (3 out of 5 stars)
Unsane’s 1080p high-definition presentation is good. There are quite a few day to night changes and the scene transitions were good. The brightness and color were even, clear, and sharp. Dark and night scenes were bright enough to see the whole scene. The camera work was good, with a few first person views, and the shaky scenes were intentional and not overly done.
Audio (3 out of 5 stars)
The English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio was pretty good. The movie volume can be low when the cast is whispering, or talking quietly, so I had to turn the volume up a bit. At the louder points, some adjustment was needed, but it wasn’t too significant. Overall, the volume levels were okay, and I could make out all the dialogue.  Audio is also available in Descriptive Video Service, and subtitles are available in English SDH, Spanish, and French.
Extras (1/2 out of 5 stars)
I was greatly disappointed in the special features for this movie. With a story that can be so important, so much more could have been done  to provide information on stalking, the movie, and the concept, to only have one, with no narration, less than five-minute feature.
  • Unsanity (4:36) – Footage from the filming of the movie
Summary (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Unsane is a suspenseful film that tells the story of a woman trying her best to escape her stalker. No woman should have to go through what the character did and it made me think of my own safety and how to ensure that I am always aware of my surroundings and of who is in my life. Unsane is a movie that I will keep in my rotation and will watch it from time-to-time.

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