Unhinged (2020) Movie Review

Director: Derrick Borte

Writer: Carl Ellsworth (Screenplay)

Starring: Russell Crowe, Jimmi Simpson, Caren Pistorius, Gabriel Bateman, Michael Papajohn, Anne Leighton

Plot: After a confrontation with an unstable man at an intersection, a woman becomes the target of his rage.


Tagline – He Can Happen to Anyone

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Intense Popcorn Flick

Story: Unhinged starts when Rachel (Pistorius) a mother going through a divorce which is making her life more difficult is taking her son Kyle (Bateman) to school when she gets involved in a simple traffic incident, which sees a stranger (Crowe) target her in revenge.

Rachel finds herself being terrorised by the man who is hellbent on making her have the worse day of her life, in what becomes a battle to survive this mad man.

Thoughts on Unhinged

Characters – The Man opens with his substance abuse, before committing a violent crime on his ex-wife, a broken violent man he is, he is waiting for someone to push his buttons, which happens to be Rachel, he decides to terrorise her and anybody who gets near her, not hiding his violence, he doesn’t care how many people see him, he is past breaking point. Rachel is the newly single mother, trying to hold her life together while her divorce is going through, she has already lost a lot from her life and doesn’t need anymore problems, which is what she gets, needing to race to save her loved ones from this mad man, protecting her son becomes the most important thing to her. Kyle is Rachel’s son, he is going through the stage where his mother is not letting him do things, but at least trying to stay strong, while his father just lets him down. We do also meet other loved ones that become the targets of The Man rage.

PerformancesRussell Crowe is brilliant in this leading role, he is one of the most terrifying villains of the year, as we see his physical presence, no care of consequences character shine through this film. Caren Pistorius is strong counter to Crowe, you can see the slow break she is having, even if the character doesn’t always seem like they are in the right film. We do have known names in the supporting role, only they don’t really get to do much.

StoryThe story here follows a woman that accidently insights the rage of an unstable man who decides to make her life a nightmare, as he looks to kill anyone close to her. Road Rage is a good idea for a villainous motivation, we see how the Man breaks so easily and it is just a punch, he will kill, he is twisted in why he targets someone. With the core of the story being a strong idea, one we have seen done with more slow building tension, this one doesn’t want to hold back with the violence. The story does have one major plot hole though, if The Man is wanted by the police before anything happens, why is there so little amount of police presence searching for him, surely we would have police helicopters hunting him down too? Add in the traditional bad decision making process to extend the film, you will find yourself rolling your eyes at certain moments of the story, but switch off and watch Crowe enjoy the villainous mad man role, you will have a lot of enjoyment in this one.

ThrillerThis does create a lot of the edge of your seat moments, because you don’t know what the man will do next, just how deadly he could be.

SettingsWe spend a lot of time on the run through the film, the chases, do feel safe, but the tight streets add something to the sequences, while the different locations the Man finds himself in, usually mean something big is going to happen.


Scene of the Movie – Death line.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Lack of police presence after the Man’s first crime.

Final Thoughts This is a film that gets elevated by Russell Crowe, he takes this film from middle ground to a good time movie, he is terrifying, which makes us scared of what he could do next.

Overall: Crowe Is Amazing.

Laurence Fishburne Weekend – Contagion (2011) Revisited

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: Scott Z Burns (Screenplay)

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet

Plot: Healthcare professionals, government officials and everyday people find themselves in the midst of a worldwide epidemic as the CDC works to find a cure.


Tagline – Nothing spreads like fear

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Intense Thriller

Story: Contagion starts when people from around the world start getting sick, with Beth Emhoff (Paltrow) returning home with the same serious symptoms, dying in front of her husband Matt (Damon) and son Clark (Kane). Dr Ellis Cheever (Fishburne) and Dr Erin Mears (Winslet) are leading a task force to investigate the sudden amounts of people getting sick, with Dr Leonora Orantes (Cotillard) attacking the cases from the European side.

Journalist Alan Krumwiede (Law) is trying to get a big story from the outbreak, with the scientist racing against time to first find the infected, secondly to learn about the virus and thirdly just where it started before the population of the world starts dwindling.

Thoughts on Contagion

Characters – Dr Leonora Orantes works for the World Health Organization she starts the investigation from Europe through Hong Kong trying to trace the origin of the disease, showing how easily it was spread. Dr Ellis Cheever and Dr Erin Mears are from the CDC that are trying to contain the problem in America, building shelters for the sick, dealing with the pressure from people who want the story. Alan Krumwiede is an internet reporter that gets aggressive with his techniques in searching for the truth. Mitch sees his wife being one of the first victims, finding him being one of the few people immune to the disease.

PerformancesWe have a brilliant cast in this film, we have A-Listers and up and comers mixing together effortlessly, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Marion Cotillard are all fantastic in their roles through the film.

StoryThe story here follows the outbreak of an unknown aggressive disease that is effecting the world globally, we have the race from the governments to try and figure out how to stop it and learn where it came from before it kills millions around the world. This story does show us just how quickly a disease could spread, how deadly it could be and how the world could start to fall apart even within the first month of the outbreak. We do get to see the scientific response to everything which is a lot more interesting instead of just following the traditional trends which we have seen before, we see how desperate the people have become and even how the structure of government can even hold up everything. This is an investigation based movie which is important to see for everybody as we are getting the search for the origin too.

ActionThe action in the film is more about the race to find a cure, to save lives, which does make this a thriller side of everything.

SettingsThe film takes place all over the world, showing just how quickly the disease started to spread, with people in the world getting sick, the disease spreads quicker.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film show us just how sick the people will get, this is mostly make-up effects which shows how sick people will become.


Scene of the Movie – The search for the truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The annoying daughter that is more worried about time passing than surviving.

Final Thoughts This is a great look at how quickly a disease could spread and cause millions of deaths and how much work would go into solving the problem.

Overall: Brilliant.

Under Suspicion (2000) Movie Review

Director: Stephen Hopkins

Writer: Tom Provost, W. Peter Iliff (Screenplay) Claude Miller, Jean Herman, Michel Audiard/John Wainwright (Original Screenplay/Book)

Starring: Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Monica Bellucci, Nydia Caro, Miguel Angel Suarez, Pablo Cunqueiro

Plot: A wealthy attorney in San Juan comes to the police station for “10 min.” of follow up questions to finding a 12-year old girl’s body in a park. Another young girl was also raped and murdered weeks earlier and the evidence points to him.


Tagline – A hidden past, a secret life, witness or suspect, guilty or innocent?

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Tense

Story: Under Suspicion starts as Henry Hearst (Hackman) agrees to go into see Captain Victor Benezet (Freeman) in a follow up to discovering a dead body on his daily run, only part of Henry’s story doesn’t add up. As Victor and Detective Felix Owen (Jane) start investigating Henry’s story more, they start to see him being the prime suspect.

Henry’s position of power as an attorney makes the case more difficult, as any false story would ruin both Henry and Victor, with each conversation offering new clues to the truth about what really happened to the murdered young girls.

Thoughts on Under Suspicion

Characters – Henry Hearst is wealthy attorney, married to a young wife, respected in the neighbourhood, he discovers a dead body of a young girl, whose story doesn’t add up, making him the prime suspect, he must give details about his personal life, which sees that his life isn’t what everyone else believes, having secrets that aren’t going to help his side of the case, always claiming his innocence to the truth. Captain Victor Benezet has worked with Henry in the past, they have been through cases for years and he knows that if the investigation comes out, he will handle things with more care, only to need to play both sides of Henry, his friend and the cop after a killer. Detective Felix Owen is the younger investigator, he wants the case solved, he will step over the line at time, needing to be kept in place by Victor, while needing to push the boundaries. Chantal Hearst is the younger wife of Henry, she has become distant from him, with his actions driving her away, she could answer a few of the big questions, but doesn’t want to bring her family down, even though she has a grudge about what Henry might have done before.

PerformancesWe do have two of Hollywood’s heavyweights in the leading roles, Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman, who both show why they are on top of most best actor lists, they carry the film with their performances, while being joined by Thomas Jane and Monica Bellucci giving very strong supporting performances too.

StoryThe story here follows what is simply a follow up set of questions about discovering a dead, soon turns into a full blown investigation into the man that could have been behind the murders. This is a story about people on power being able to play this card to try and get out of questioning, though we do balance the guilty or not guilty side of the story very well, showing us who could be behind the crime. The constant switch in stories does help us question everything we are seeing, showing that trust is what will always be the most difficult thing to maintain. The do only see how one man is being questioned to new limits and how this pressure could create differences in stories given too.

CrimeThe crime is two murders of young girls, they need to be solved fast with the police needing to focus on all sides of the story, making sure everything is covered before the killer could strike again.

SettingsThe film is set on an island, which shows us just how the characters are living in luxury away from the big cities.


Scene of the Movie – Henry and Felix questioning.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough investigating into the murders seems to be happening, only the questioning.

Final Thoughts This is a tense thriller that does keep us on the edge of our seat throughout, as we are left to wonder just what is really happened, being carried by powerhouse performances.

Overall: Twist Filled Thriller.

Signature Entertainment presents Under Suspicion on Digital HD July 31 and on Amazon Prime August 3rd

The Tent (2020) Movie Review

Director: Kyle Couch

Writer: Kyle Couch (Screenplay)

Starring: Tim Kaiser, Lulu Dahl, Shlby Bradley, Christine Marie, Jeannine Thompson

Plot: An apocalyptic event known as The Crisis has devastated David’s world leaving him to rely on survival tactics learned from childhood. Isolated and alone, David has taken refuge in a tent on the edge of the wilderness. Soon enough, another survivor emerges, Mary, who immediately begins questioning David’s tactics and ultimately putting them in the crosshairs of “Those Who Walk In Darkness”, unseen creatures that may or may not be responsible for The Crisis. 


Tagline – Survive

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Deeper Than You Can Imagine

Story: The Tent starts in the aftermath of an apocalyptic event known as the Crisis, David (Kaiser) has escaped to isolation where he is always trying to elude capture from the threat, when Mary (Dahl) finds David injured in need of help, she offers him help and the two must learn to work together despite not wanting to be working together.

As the two start showing weaknesses in human interaction, they come under attack from the mysterious whispers, that have been hunting the remaining survives on the planet, where the two need to decide to take a stand or remain hidden from the world.

Thoughts on The Tent

Characters – David Has been living in a tent after the crisis event, he has kept himself away from trouble, being prepared for everything that comes his way, until he becomes caught in a trap where he finally needs help, he must learn that not everyone or everything is going to be a threat to him. Mary is the mysterious stranger that brings help to David, she is looking for shelter and believes the two could become stronger together in the battle to survive. We do only get glimpses of other characters in the film, who fill important moments, but aren’t the key to the deeper side of the story.

PerformancesTim Kaiser and Lulu Dahl are great together, they show the edge to their characters, we get to see more depth in the performances later in the film, which makes this even more impressive with the performances involved.

StoryThe story here follows two strangers who meet in a post-apocalyptic world and look to survive the threat outside the tent, needing to work together to survive. This is a story that goes in a direction you truly don’t see coming, which is very refreshing, it is such a clever way to use this idea, that you need to take time to analyse if there are any hints along the way. This story does have an important message that needs to be told that will shine a light on what the true meaning in the story. The level of detail about surviving is a standout because we go through plenty of details about how to make it through this new world.

ThrillerThe thriller side of this film circles around the terrors that could come from outside the tent, what is hunting down our two main characters.

SettingsThe film spends most of the time inside the tent, where we focus on a plan to escape, while hearing something on the outside, giving us the creation of the tension in the film.


Scene of the Movie – The final third of the movie.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We do have one too many cutbacks to pre-event.

Final Thoughts This is a super smart thriller that does something you won’t see coming to bring attention to a real-life matter, with an excellent attention to detail.

Overall: Excellent Thriller

Chatroom (2010) Movie Review – Coming to Amazon Prime 3rd July

Director: Hideo Nakata

Writer: Edna Walsh (Screenplay) Enda Walsh (Play)

Starring: Aaron Taylor Johnson, Imogen Poots, Matthew Beard, Hannah Murray, Daniel Kaluuya

Plot: 5 teenagers are introduced to each other in a chatroom called “Chelsea Teens!”, all with different personalities. But when one shows its darker side, it threatens the life of the others.


Tagline – Control. Alter. Delete.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Eye Opening

Story: Chatroom starts as William (Taylor-Johnson) opens up a new chatroom called ‘Chelsea Teens’ which sees four fellow teens Mo (Kaluuya), Jim (Beard), Emily (Murray) and Eva (Poots) join, while they are still on their laptops, we are show how a giant hotel has different chatrooms, for people to join for an open conversation.

Outside the chatroom, the five teens have their own problems, using their time in the chatroom to focus on dealing with the problems, escaping the pain of their everyday life, only are they being truthfully in the chatroom.

Thoughts on Chatroom

Characters – William sets up the chatroom, he does this to escape his overbearing parents that are trying to control his life, he does show a confidence in the chatroom, which will let people follow his instructions, suggestions to improve themselves, he does have hacking skills, which could make him a threat, but outside of the chatroom, he is on suicide levels of depression. Jim is a lonely teenager, he can’t communicate with people very well, which sees him finding any social interaction uncomfortable. Mo is nervous about being in the room, he is having a difficult mindset about a crush on an underage girl, where he knows it is wrong, only he is tempted to look into the ideas. Emily is from a posh family, she is being prepared for life in a proper manner, only she is becoming angry about the location she is in, turning to the room for a chance to find someone to talk to, becoming more rebellious along the way. Eva is a model that is tired of being looked down upon by the fellow models, she wants a change, which William starts to offer, while helping Emily out of her own slump, preparing her to open up more in the world.

PerformancesWe have an excellent cast here, most of these actors have gone onto bigger projects and you can see why, being showing us how talent the likes of Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Daniel Kaluuya, Imogen Poots and Hannah Murray are, add in Matthew Beard, we have a cast that shows just how difficult growing up can be.

StoryThe story here follows five teenagers that turn to chatrooms to help them deal with the problems in their lives, until they see it become more of a personal issue. When looking at this story we must remember it was made in 2010, when chatrooms were still a bigger thing, the dangers of them had become clearer and here we see how certain rooms can be used in other methods, to create the events through the film. The real life issues of depression and using the chatroom for escape, we see how isolation happens, with technology becoming the place you turn, which can cause even more pain. Showing us just how depression can consume people without the right people around them.

ThrillerThe film does create a thrilling side, by seeing how William is becoming consumed with wanting to use the power he seems to have gained through his action.

SettingsThe film uses the setting of everyday to show the difficult lives the characters are living through, this is everything you would expect to see, what is the stand out of location, would be the hotel like structure that the chatrooms are designed to look like, the halls, the doors, each room fits the theme created.


Scene of the Movie – The meetings.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The Mo side of the story doesn’t get enough exploration.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting thriller that hits hard on the dangers of the modern world obsession with social media, showing how people could spiral out of control as they look for help in the wrong places.

Overall: Great Thriller.

Signature Entertainment presents Chatroom on Amazon Prime July 3rd