THE BLOG
28/03/2018 16:28 BST | Updated 28/03/2018 16:28 BST

Unsane Is Just Another Film That Fuels Negative Mental Health Stereotypes

The film made me feel deeply unsettled from 15 minutes in and this feeling didn't let up

20th Century Fox

Whether it was the deeply distrubing content, the distracting and edgy direction or the complete lack of entertainment value and story I can’t be sure, but one thing is certain; Unsane is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen and thank goodness for Cineworld Unlimited because if I’d have paid to watch it, I’d be begging for a refund.

Going into the film, I tried to keep an open mind because I’d heard and seen some things that made me skeptical, and with much of the film’s plot taking place in what is essentially a mental hospital, I naturally anticipated scenes which would play to the stereotype. So much misunderstanding in the general public and society comes from the media, whether it is films, radio, articles or books, and media consumption seems to be at an all time high.

Unfortunately, I have to report that the film made me feel deeply unsettled from 15 minutes in and this feeling didn’t let up until a while after the film ended. I have to say that whilst I’ve never been admitted to a mental institution myself, I’ve spent enough time with people that have and I’ve heard first hand about their experiences.

Until films accurately depicts the struggle of mental illness that, I can say from experience isn’t always shocking or thrilling, I think the masses will continue to believe in the image of padded walls, head in hands and bed restraints

This film portrays them as unflinching, intimidating places where there is a real risk of harm and violence and control is completely taken away from you the moment you step through the door. Not only this, but it gives the impression that the main character absolutely cannot be trusted at all. I think this is the main problem I have with the film, because one of the biggest hurdles that mentally ill people face is that people think we’re untrustworthy, incapable of making our own decisions or might not be functioning at full capacity.

And yet, Unsane keeps the twists and turns coming for ‘entertainment’ value and I suppose that whilst it does attempt a unique style of direction (being shot on an iPhone 7) with different camera angles and a visual style I’ve never seen before, I didn’t feel like it gave me anything to care about and it just made me pity the character and her efforts to escape this nightmare that she is in.

I don’t think that this film is entertaining and it certainly doesn’t go anyways to altering the stereotype of a mentally ill person or the conditions inside a mental institution. Until films accurately depicts the struggle of mental illness that, I can say from experience isn’t always shocking or thrilling, I think the masses will continue to believe in the image of padded walls, head in hands and bed restraints. 

Sometimes, the pain is sadness, sorrow, silence and an all encompassing numbness.