SYNOPSIS: Two women form an unlikely connection when a depressed gas station clerk SAM (Purdy), receives a call from EMILY (Francis), a nearly blind woman who is running from her murderous ex in the woods. Emily must survive the ordeal with Sam being her eyes from afar using video call.
Emily wakes up disoriented and tied up in a remote cabin by her ex. After fleeing into the woods but breaking her much-needed glasses, she accidentally dials Sam, a meek gas station attendant. (*cue the My Girl fans) Emily cannot see without her glasses. Begging this anxious stranger to video call her to aid in her escape from the ever-looming Charlie. These unlikely partners team up in different locations, leading to freedom for both women.
Michael Patrick Lane is Emily’s captor and psycho ex, Charlie. Scary and somehow kooky, he is like the Michael Myers of ex-boyfriends. Missi Pyle plays Carole, and she’s a real asshole. Her performance is both caricature and authentically terrifying. Pyle gives us rich, tacky, gun-toting Karen energy. I mean, had station is in Tallahassee. Her character work is unreal.
Midori Francis is an absolute badass as Emily. Minutes in, I was yelling at the screen, cheering her on. Her shockingly calm demeanor is all the motivation Sam needs to help. Jolene Purdy plays Sam with zero self-esteem and a heart of hold. Her emotional arc in the film will leave you with a smirk. She and Francis have electric chemistry, especially considering they are never in the same space as one another. They are both stars.
Areal shots are stunning. The addition of out-of-focus camerawork puts you in Emily’s chaotic mindset. The splashy neon colors of the Gator Galore station contrast beautifully with Emily’s overcast forest landscape. Directed by Yoko Okumura and written by Salvatore Cardoni and Brian Rawlins, UNSEEN balances comic, over-the-top characters with nuanced ones and the plausible scenario of a woman’s abduction by her ex. The script is a commentary on class and one hell of a story of gender-based violence. It is undeniably entertaining. Some audiences might initially make comparisons with Shudder’s SEE FOR ME, but that would be a mistake. Unseen stands apart in its unexpected comedy, performances, and clever writing. The final reveal made me say, “Oh, shit.” Be sure to stick around for the credits.
Paramount Home Entertainment will release the horror thriller film UNSEEN on Digital and On Demand on March 7, 2023 and on MGM+ on May 2023.
UNSEEN stars an ensemble cast of Midori Francis (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Jolene Purdy (“Orange is the New Black”), Missi Pyle (Gone Girl) and Michael Patrick Lane (“Dynasty”). The film is directed by Yoko Okumura (“The Bold Type”) and written by Salvatore Cardoni (Gnomes & Trolls: The Secret Chamber) and Brian Rawlins. The film was executive produced by Alexander Kruener, Jeremy Gold, Chris McCumber and Jason Blum.
The film is part of the Blumhouse Television and MGM+ deal to produce eight original films together. MGM’s streaming service, EPIX, rebranded as MGM+ on January 15, 2023.
Building on Blumhouse Television’s success with the Welcome to the Blumhouse movies slate for Amazon and Into the Dark anthology series for Hulu, the deal is the first-of-its-kind for MGM+, which is adding films to its growing slate of premium original content.