Emily Aiken ’20, Managing Editor
After taking a five year hiatus, Steven Soderbergh released his new movie, Unsane, in theaters on March 23.
This 90-minute thriller follows Sawyer Valentini (Claire Foy), a women who has just moved to Pennsylvania to work as a financial analyst. She moved from her hometown of Boston to get away from her stalker, David Shrine (Joshua Leonard). (Her stalker experience has taken a great toll on her before and after her move). She is supposedly seeing David everywhere and is not sure if it is just in her head. She goes in for what she thinks is just a routine psychiatric evaluation in order to join a support group for people who have been stalked. After the appointment, she is asked to sign some papers. Without reading these papers, she checks herself into a mental institution for a 24 hour observation and finds herself in a horrendous and nightmarish facility. During the 24 hour period, Sawyer insists that she is not mental and should not be there, but that does not help her case. She repeatedly makes mistakes, like fighting with the other patients and throwing tantrums. The facility uses this as an excuse to hold her for longer than the routine 24 hour period. In reality, the facility just wants to keep her until her insurance will not pay anymore, which for Sawyer was seven days. To top it all off, along with these circumstances, her stalker is one of the nurses in the hospital. However, as she tries to get help, no one will believe her because they think she is insane.
The story ended up being very twisted and disturbing. As Sawyer is faced with the horrors of corrupt mental institutions and private health insurance, the audience cannot help but feel anxious. The visuals add to this feeling. As one of Soderbergh’s low budget, experimental films, Unsane was shot entirely on an iPhone 7 Plus. The budget was only $1.5 million, while the average movie budget is $65 million. The movie has made a profit of $10.7 million. The visuals are a bit awkward and dark, but that is apart of the appeal and adds to the aesthetic of the story.
Photo courtesy of gigazine.net