Steven Soderbergh's iPhone-Shot Thriller Looks Absolutely Terrifying

Claire Foy stars in 'Unsane' as a woman who's convinced she's being stalked and winds up inside a mental institution.

Claire Foy stars in 'Unsane' as a woman who's convinced she's being stalked and winds up inside a mental institution.

VICE Staff

Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh really loves his phone, apparently. Last fall, the Ocean's Eleven and Magic Mike director released Mosaic, an HBO miniseries and experimental curio told through a choose-your-own-adventure-style smartphone app. And now, right on the heels of Mosaic's short HBO run, Bleecker Street dropped a trailer for Soderbergh's new film, Unsane—a horror movie he shot entirely on an iPhone.

From the look of the trailer, Unsane is a psychological gaslight-y horror film along the lines of Shutter Island or Flightplan. It stars The Crown's Claire Foy as a woman who is convinced she's being followed by a stalker. When she tries to report the guy, though, she winds up locked in a mental institution against her will, and begins to lose her grasp on what's real. The script was penned by Jonathan Bernstein and James Greer, with a cast rounded out by Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah, Juno Temple, Aimee Mullins, and Amy Irving.

This obviously isn't the first time someone has shot a movie on a phone—Sean Baker's brilliant debut Tangerine was famously filmed on an iPhone 5S to keep things cheap—but it's still a pretty bold move coming from such a big-name director. Soderbergh talked about his decision to shoot it on a phone during this month's Sundance Film Festival, praising the iPhone's video capabilities as a "game changer."

"I think this is the future," he told a crowd at Sundance, according to Indiewire. "Anybody going to see this movie who has no idea of the backstory to the production will have no idea this was shot on the phone. That’s not part of the conceit."

From the look of the trailer, he's right—the digital iPhone footage seems to complement the film's mood nicely, adding a hard, lifeless edge to the institution's harsh fluorescents, but it doesn't look low-budget.

Unsane will make its debut next month at the Berlin Film Festival and is set to hit theaters on March 23. Until then, give the trailer a watch above.

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