Film Review: The Unseen

Writer-director Gary Sinyor’s The Unseen works well to build atmosphere for the first two thirds, but is let down by a risible final act.

Gemma and Will are struggling to come to terms with a family tragedy. Gemma begins to have panic attacks, which cause a temporary loss of vision. Will, meanwhile, is convinced he is hearing things that can’t possibly be…

Written and directed by Gary Sinyor, The Unseen combines drama with a psychological thriller. The film revolves around a tragedy which occurs at the beginning of the film, and the aftereffects of this incident. Gemma and Will are a couple in mourning, and their interactions for the first half of the film are believable.

The film offers a brooding atmosphere, which is in keeping with the prevalent theme. The film walks a tightrope in its use of the uncanny. For a good portion of The Unseen, it is unclear whether there is supernatural activity or whether there is a rational explanation. Sinyor does well to heighten the sense of isolation with the move to the cottage.

Unfortunately, the film unravels in its final act. The explanation for the supposed supernatural activity is silly. The film loses all credibility with an overblown finale; it is simply not believable, and the behaviour by the characters defies reason. It is a shame that the ending is such a let down, as the idea of temporary sight loss is an interesting one.

Jasmine Hyde delivers a convincing performance as Gemma. Richard Flood is suitable as Will. The couple seem natural together. Paul is not explored in much detail, until the disastrous final third. The demise of a minor character is not even an afterthought.

It feels as if Sinyor was not sure how to tie up the strands, and the result was an over-the-top ending. Until this point, there is enough to like about The Unseen.

The Unseen is released in cinemas on 15th December 2017.

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