katrinaolson.ca - The Unseen (CIFF 2016)

Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 08:00 PM

The Unseen (CIFF 2016)

Review by Katrina Olson-Mottahed x CalgaryMovies.com

A KO Review by Emily Mody

The Unseen is a full length, science fiction film directed by Geoff Redknap. The story follows Bob Langmore (played by Aden Young) while he struggles to adapt to his life as an ex-husband who has also chosen to isolate himself from his daughter Eva (played by Julia Sarah Stone). Langmore has a mysterious condition that is slowly turning his body invisible and this is the main cause of his self-imposed isolation. Langmore also works in a lumberyard in an area that is far removed from city life. As his life seems to become more monotonous with every passing day and his condition worsens he decides to end his life but not before seeing his daughter one last time.

For the most part, I really enjoyed The Unseen. In general, I always really enjoy the utilization of metaphor in the sci-fi and horror genres to demonstrate various layers of meaning. The Unseen is a really good example of how metaphor can be used very effectively. The discussion of the blight of the working class Canadian and how those individuals often feel as if they are unseen or invisible to their superiors was particularly interesting to me. The Unseen utilizes metaphor to say something very valuable about class and Canadian society. The Unseen reminded me of David Cronenberg’s contribution to the body horror genre. In the beginning of The Unseen, I was brought back to films such as Shivers, Videodrome, and Dead Ringers. The beginning had a very similar feel to these horror films, however as the film progressed it seemed to affect me more as a sci-fi film. The Unseen definitely possesses qualities from both genres.

The Unseen contains language and somewhat gory moments. I would say overall though, that this film is definitely appropriate for ages thirteen and up unless you are a particularly sensitive viewer or if you are easily frightened. I like to think that I am a pretty well versed horror fanatic and this film did not scare me at all. The story is so much more than the scary moments that are present. The scares really weren’t the point, which is something I love about The Unseen. There were moments of the film that definitely felt like a strange dream but there is definitely something lovely about that feeling at times. Redknap did a very good job of bringing the audience into this strange world and enveloping them completely. Following in the footsteps of Cronenberg, I think that The Unseen is a very powerful and solid contribution to the landscape of Canadian cinema.

If you are interested in a film that feels a little bit outside the box but has a really great story than I would highly recommend The Unseen. The Unseen will be screened as a part of the Calgary International Film Festival. It will be playing at the Globe on Friday, September 23rd at 9:30pm and Sunday, September 25th at 5:00pm. Regardless of my personal take on the content, The Globe will not be allowing anyone under the age of 18 into the screening.

Calgary Showtimes: 17th Calgary International Film Festival 2016 >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.