Given that film is, by its very nature, a visual medium, it’s a brave director that elects to play with the visual, almost turning the viewer blind. Welcome, to The Unseen.
Will and Gemma Shields, Richard Flood (Shameless (TV), Red Rock (TV)) and Jasmine Hyde (The Truth Commissioner, A Distant Mirage), are a nice, comfortable couple living in a big posh house in Cheshire with their young son.
Their worlds are turned upside down however by a tragedy that befalls their son who drowns in their swimming pool one evening. Understandably, the couple don’t take this event too well.
Gemma begins suffering panic attacks which result in amaurosis, a form of temporary blindness or vision impairment, whilst Will, seemingly, begins to go a bit mad. He’s convinced that their son is still around, talking to him and that he keeps hearing him riding his squeaky bike.
On Gemma’s first panic attack, she staggers out of the house into the road and is helped by a passer by named Paul, Simon Cotton (The Rise Of The Krays, Undercover Hooligan), who invites the couple to his newly renovated guest house in the Lake District.
Somewhat reluctantly, the pair agree and drive up to spend a few, quiet days, getting away from it all. Except, that’s not quite how it goes. As Will is driven further into despair and Gemma suffers more panic attacks, it begins to emerge that perhaps Paul wasn’t just passing by coincidentally at all.
The Unseen is the first film from Gary Sinyor (Leon The Pig Farmer, The Bachelor) since 2014 and he both writes and directs the movie.
The Unseen does its hardest to stand out from the crowd of usual “couples who have lost” thriller style films and, for the first half at least, it succeeds in doing so.
Sinyor’s decision to switch to Gemma’s point of view whenever she gets a panic attack is a great idea and a nice touch. The screen flickering, focus is lost and regained, dark patterns swirl in front of our eyes.
Both Flood and Hyde are convincing in their roles as the parents broken by loss, not knowing where to turn, what to do next, they, as happens all to often, turn on each other and then turn away from each other.
Cotton certainly has his moments as stalker with an obsession. At times he’s genuinely unnerving to see.
What both Flood and Cotton bring are performances that are both menacing and unnerving and both generally in Hyde’s direction. She bares the brunt of all of this which has the startling affect of making you feel quite unnerved for the poor woman.
The Unseen works best in these early moments, when the mystery is, as the title suggests, Unseen. The Unseen is a valiant attempt from this, usually comedy, director to venture into the thriller arena.
The Unseen is available on DVD and digital download from 12th February 2018.
15th December 2017
THE QUICK SELL
Given that film is, by its very nature, a visual medium, it's a brave director that elects to play with the visual, almost turning the viewer blind. Welcome, to The Unseen.