Unsane is to the #MeToo movement what Get Out was to #BlackLivesMatter 3 years ago

Unsane is to the #MeToo movement what Get Out was to #BlackLivesMatter

It is also one of the trashiest B-movie horrors we've seen in quite some time (and we mean that as a compliment).

Remember when Get Out came out, and it seemed like all the stars had aligned with the release of such a hot-topic movie using horror as the genre instead of the usual Oscar-baiting drama?


Well, as it turned out, the horror still ended up being Oscar-baiting, as no matter the genre (which, in the case of Get Out, is either horror or comedy, depending on who you ask), but what can't be argued over is that the timing of the release was absolutely perfect.

Which is something that it shares with Unsane, the new psychological thriller by director Steven Soderbergh.

In it, we meet Sawyer Valentini (The Crown's Claire Foy going under a complete performance transformation), who has suffered badly at the hands of a particularly creepy stalker.

Having changed phone numbers, emails, addresses, applied for restraining order, all the bad stuff that comes with being one part of an unwanted abusive relationship, she finds herself still seeing her stalker in places he couldn't possibly be.

A quick trip to a therapist on her lunch-break might do her the world of good, but instead she discovers that by absent-mindedly signing the wrong form, she has voluntarily committed herself to a psychiatric hospital for a few days.

That is bad enough by itself, but now she is seeing her stalker roam the halls of the hospital, and she isn't entirely convinced if he is actually there, or if she is actually beginning to lose her mind.

Soderbergh has previously tackled real world fears through the prism of horror - think of deadly flu viruses in Contagion, or pharmaceutical dependence in Side Effects - but they are all linked through a pure distrust of the America's medical system, something that also bleeds through in Unsane, as a system that should be helping people get better is very clearly putting the profits ahead of patients.


While that is a very admirable message to wield about, it is one that cannot compete with the trashy horror nature that lurks at the soul of Unsane, as what begins as a "What would you do?" scenario devolves into a girl-running-and-screaming slasher flick.

Not that that is necessarily a bad thing, but does the movie becoming a jump-scare fest lessen the impact of the point it is trying to make? Maybe not...

At the centre of the film - which was filmed entirely on an iPhone, which is worthy of its own lengthy discussion - is a woman making claims, who is disbelieved, who is marginalised, who is abused, who is helpless until she is forced to fight her life in the most basic of terms.

Is that not exactly what we've been seeing practically non-stop in the news since the first Harvey Weinstein accusation was made? And while we all reacted appropriately, it cannot be argued that there was a level of entertainment being gleaned by seeing who would be accused next, and by whom, and then from watching these people being pulled down from their position of power.

Unsane is trashy and entertaining and still incredibly powerful and upsetting, but then look around you. So is real life.


Unsane is in cinemas from Friday 23 March.

Clip via 20th Century Fox UK