Unhinged is one of those movies that you put on to kill some time and then end up enjoying the time you’ve killed.
The film opens with a bleak and brutal murder carried out by Russell Crowe’s unnamed character. He beats up a couple in their home before setting the place alight and driving away. This scene, at least, sets up some motive for the following events.
The next day, Caren Pistorius’ Rachel – a young mother, currently stressing through a divorce – gets caught up in traffic whilst taking her son to school. Unfortunately, she beeps her horn at the wrong man. Crowe’s murderous character from the opening is on the receiving end and threatens Rachel with ‘a bad day’.
It’s not long before the Stranger turns up again, stalking Rachel as she attempts to get on with her day. Things begin to escalate and it doesn’t take the Stranger long to start tracking down the people closest to Rachel and hurting them.
It is a thriller that plays in a vein not dissimilar to that of an old 80s slasher, minus the overt horror tropes.
What really holds it together is the two lead performances. Crowe proves a genuine threat, especially with his now imposing figure. Pistorius, on the other hand, breathes fresh life into the terrified protagonist, giving us a character who rarely makes a stupid decision.
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It’s an enjoyable ride, if not a gruesome one. The kills themselves slip neatly into the horror category and, towards the end, there is one of the best ‘lines before the kill’ ever. You’ll know it when you see it.
Unhinged is a cheesy, but grisly thriller that has you rooting for the good guys and booing the bad guy. Which means it works.
A synopsis reads:
‘A mother leans on her horn at the wrong time, to the wrong guy. Road rage doesn’t begin to describe what he’s about to do to her and everyone she knows.’
The film stars Russell Crowe, Caren Pistorius, Gabriel Bateman, Jimmi Simpson and Austin P. McKenzie. Unhinged is scheduled to be released in the United States on August 21, 2020.