When we first began watching the trailer for this film, we thought it was some sort of late 90’s, amateur spoof movie, almost laughable. However, when you get some background info and realise the entire film was shot on an iPhone 7, something revolutionary almost, it became more interesting as we realised the context of the plot and how the phone cinematography creates plenty of distorted POV (point of view) shots, linking to the main theme of insanity.
Steven Soderbergh managing to film a feature length movie on an iPhone is enough to impress any cinema-goer, but the actual film he’s crafted here manages to create the fear of the paranoia from being stalked, and the absurdity of that paranoia coming to life, all on the shoulders of one of the most casually creepy villains put to film in ages, looming over a poor woman looking to prove that she’s not insane.
Claire Foy is a force to be reckoned with managing to carry the entire film on her own for the most part, conveying a real genuine sense of unease and frustration that anyone can immediately connect to in some way. Talking about one scene in particular: the ‘blue room’ scene. The scene utilised a minimal music score to its advantage, it was completely carried by acting. No CGI, no props, just pure acting. Claire Foy and Joshua Leonard’s performance in this scene was believable, emotional, creepy and seriously tense. Any different and this scene would have flopped.
Soderbergh’s direction is nothing short of genius, making the simplest scenes feel like abject horrors, the twirling and twisting around the hospital as if it was a maze, the slight jump scares making you squirm in your seat, even the viewers are never made to feel safe. You dread every possible outcome from each moment, it was like a rollercoaster in which you can’t wait to get off of, kiss the floor, and reassure yourself that you survived and you are fine. All these things and more makes you equally as paranoid and on the edge of insanity as the main character.
The way the narrative unfolds only manages to get more and more disturbing and unreal but the truly terrifying aspect is how close to home the film is, the story is somewhat believable and possible. It feels like a story you would end up reading in the news, but sticking a landing that pays off splendidly. We were super impressed by the fact that the credits were already finished before we had chance to leave the screen, showing what a minimal crew could achieve. For us here at Dead Horse, we felt the film was slightly let down by a dragged out, messy third act comprised of too many plot holes and one awful, comical final shot which was just a bit too cheesy. Apart from that, We implore anyone to go and see this as it is refreshing, immersive and truly propels mobile filmmaking into the mainstream.
Oh, and this also has either the best or worst surprise cameo. He’s been cropping up in a lot of films recently, and we’re not sure how we feel about this, check it out for yourself and let us know what you make of it.