Unconscious follows a man (Wes Bentley) as he awakens with amnesia after a car crash. Soon he begins to feel like a prisoner in his own home and suspects his wife (Kate Bosworth) may not be who she says she is. Desperate to find out the truth and escape from her clutches he checks the house for clues, but nothing will prepare him for the ultimate truth.
It truly is a nightmarish prospect to imagine waking up one day with no recollection of you are, who your spouse is or what lead you to feel this way. Unconscious takes advantage of these fears and successfully creates an intriguing, quietly terrifying and unpredictable little flick. Lead by a couple of strong performances, particularly by Kate Bosworth who plays ‘the Woman’ (Straw Dogs, Black Rock), the film should have enough twists and turns to keep you hooked until the all-revealing, surprising climax.
The Woman is a crazy cat lady. This is a sure sign that she is mental, obviously. Hiding behind every corner is a cat and god forbid if her husband says he doesn’t remember having one. Adding to her clear insanity is her random spouting of facts, for example, “Did you know that the bottle cap is more expensive to produce than the actual bottle?” I did not, but thank you for the interesting insight. Little touches like this heighten her madness and Kate Bosworth is incredible at depicting the controlled, yet twisted maniac. She never looks less than perfect and struts around the house in high heels like nothing strange is going on, at all. You’d find it funny if it wasn’t so damn distressing.
The house is also in tip-top shape and adds to the unwelcome feeling that is present during the film. It doesn’t look very homely; stark lighting and contrasting dark shadows create an unnerving amount of coldness, perfectly reflecting the Woman’s emotionless demeanour. She looks like a femme fatale pulled straight from a 1950s film noir and, visually, the film does too. The idea of a man on his own, with a lot of emotional angst and desperate to discover the truth adds to this, making Unconscious a quite charming homage to films of the past.
In terms of horror, Unconscious is a bit of a slow-burn. There’s a lot of repetition with the Man wandering around the house, getting caught and ending up right where he started in bed. The run time isn’t that long, but the slow pace does make it feel a little bit lengthier than it is. The film finds it stride after the half-hour mark and that’s when things start to kick-off. The Woman’s reign of composed terror reaches unspeakable levels and the poor Man becomes a complete victim and totally helpless. She wants the perfect nuclear family and she will stop at nothing to get it.
Unconscious is a visually stunning house of horrors propelled by Kate Bosworth’s great performance, which brilliantly drums up tension and suspense. It may struggle to hold your attention at points, but do hold out until the end because it’s a shocker.
Words: Jessy Williams