Unhinged is a horror thriller starring Russell Crowe as Tom Cooper, a rage filled psychopath whom we are introduced to killing his ex-wife and her boyfriend before setting their house on fire.
The next day, newly-divorced Rachel Flynn (Caren Pistorius) and her son Kyle (Gabriel Bateman), are stuck in traffic when she honks at a pick-up in front of her who failed to go when the light was green.
Bad move because the driver of the truck is none other than Cooper. He catches up to her and offers an apology, but when she fails to respond with an apology of her own, he tells her this will be the worse day of her life.
After stealing her phone when she later stops for gas, he proceeds to hunt down her contacts, killing them as he reminds her it’s her fault they’re dead.
The deadly cat-and-mouse continues most of the day until Rachel makes a last desperate attempt to save herself and her son.
This film was scary, as Cooper was relentless in his terror and completely, as the title suggests, unhinged. Crowe played him a lot like the unstoppable Michael Myers in the Halloween films, only we could put a face to the monster.
Pistorius and Bateman as his targets did a great job of conveying the mixture of fear, confusion, and desperation one would have confronted with a man like Cooper. Jimmi Simpson as Rachel’s friends/divorce lawyer was also good casting.
The problems I had with the film are not only was it a bit formulaic, but one scene in particular bothered me…
*Small spoiler alert*
When Cooper attacks a man in a diner booth with his bare hands, nobody tries to stop him. They climb out of their neighboring booths, they video it, but they don’t do anything to stop the attack. Maybe it’s a commentary on how people don’t want to get involved, but I know I couldn’t just stand there and video someone getting beat up and murdered.
Overall, this is a tense thriller with strong horror overtones, and a good movie. It definitely brings to mind other stalker horror movies like The Hitcher and Joy Ride. I just felt its drawbacks stopped it from being a great movie.
I’m giving Unhinged a 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Director: Derrick Borte
Cast: Russell Crowe, Caren Pistorius, Gabriel Bateman, Jimmi Simpson
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