Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 34m
Director(s): Harry Owens
Writer(s): Harry Owens
Cast: Zephani Idoko, Bambadjan Bamba, Libby Munro, Benedikt Sebastian, Chloë Caro, Rojawn Khoshnam
Where To Watch: Coming to select theaters and digital platforms February 10, 2023
RAVING REVIEW: Ghanaian newlyweds embark on a journey to Los Angeles, searching for solace after an experience they’ll never forget. However, what they hoped would bring them closer together only intensifies their terror as an unseen evil haunts their temporary abode.
THE UNSETTLING explores the profound psychological effects of tragedy and how they can persist, even in new surroundings. This film subverts the traditional haunted house genre, transforming it into a tale of oppression and terror while adding to the ever-growing rental house horror genre.
From the beginning, the audience is immediately immersed in unease and the presence of an evil entity that the characters cannot escape. The lead character, portrayed by Zephani Idoko, is plagued by flashbacks and nightmares that magnify her distress. Despite her husband's efforts to dismiss her fears, the protagonist's anxiety reaches its peak in a nerve-wracking panic attack.
The arrival of friends only adds fuel to the fire, as what should have been a reunion filled with joy and laughter turns into a scene of utter terror. The film highlights the difficulties of overcoming tragedy and the all-encompassing nature of depression and grief.
As the story progresses, the audience becomes fully invested in the protagonist's struggles, eliciting a deep sense of empathy. The film contrasts her journey with her husband's, symbolizing those who don't comprehend the emotional weight of loss. With a carefully crafted build-up of frightening moments, THE UNSETTLING captivates and drives the story forward, leading to a climax that will leave you overwhelmed by dread.
Had the filmmakers excluded horror elements from the film, it would have made a more profound impact as a drama-thriller. The absence of such factors would have allowed the film to focus on the powerful themes we’re shown, leaving a more profound effect on the audience.
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[photo courtesy of DARK SKY FILMS]