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Unsane

1/10

Stars: Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah, Amy Irving, Juno Temple, Sarah Stiles, Mark Damon

Director: Steven Soderbergh

A very inauspicious beginning to Foy's Hollywood film career after her success in TV's The Crown and the touching UK movie Breathe. Unsane is a film that never recovers from its basic ridiculous premise. That, however, is no excuse for its action and dialogue lurching from bad to worse.

Foy plays Sawyer Valentini, a name that, in comparison with the rest of the movie, seems almost mundane. On the run from a stalker, and taking a job in a new city, Sawyer's already frazzled nerves are jangled afresh when her new boss comes on to her.

After she consults a counsellor at a 'behavioral clinic', we're asked to believe she would sign a form (committing herself to a 24-hour stay there) without reading it - or that one of the doctors (Leonard) at what proves to be a bona fide (primitive) loony bin, would turn out to be her original stalker.

As Sawyer finds her stay extended after violently reacting to provocation and ill-treatment, her mother (Irving) determines to get her out...until mom is paid a visit by the stalker (wouldn't she recognise him through the spyhole in her door?).

Shot on the director's IPhone, the script is giggle-worthy at every turn, ultimately leading to a confrontation in solitary, where Dr Stalker tells Sawyer (I spent the whole film thinking that was Soya) how much he worships her (and has killed several times for her). 'I have this cabin in the woods,' he smiles. 'It's completely off the grid.' Bit like the film, on which Damon must be hoping his guest appearance is soon wiped from memory. One star, though, for Foy's strong performance against almost unbelievable odds. There's hope for the girl yet.

David Quinlan

USA 2018. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour (unspecified).
97 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 19 Mar 2018