Unseen (2023) – Review/ Summary

With thrills and actors who more than deserve your attention, “Unseen” is a horror/ thriller that will make you glad that it isn’t platform exclusive.


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Title Card for Unseen (2023)

With thrills and actors who more than deserve your attention, “Unseen” is a horror/ thriller that will make you glad that it isn’t platform exclusive.

Director(s) Yoku Okumura
Screenplay By Salvatore Cardoni and Brian Rawlins
Date Released (Video On Demand) March 7, 2023
Genre(s) Horror
Duration 1 hr, 16 mins
Content Rating Unrated
Noted Cast
Emily Midori Francis
Sam Jolene Purdy
Charlie Michael Patrick Lane
Carol Missi Pyle

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links which, if a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

Film Summary

Sam receives a call from Emily- a nearly-blind woman desperately trying to escape her murderous ex-boyfriend. While the call is accidental, both women realize that Emily’s only hope of survival is to have Sam be her eyes and guide her through the woods by a video call. As Emily attempts her journey, Sam must also balance problems and irate customers at her liquor store clerk job. Their troubles grow as Sam manages an especially nasty customer and Emily’s ex attempts to hunt her down. 

Things To Note

While Unseen is unrated, the dialogue and violence is typical for Rated R films. 

  • Dialogue: Sprinkled through
  • Violence: Domestic abuse, some blood, and the threat of gun violence
  • Sexual Content: None
  • Miscellaneous: N/A

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Emily

Midori Francis as Emily
“Midori Francis as Emily,” UNSEEN, directed by Yoku Okumura, 2023, (MGM)

A determined and resourceful doctor who recently left her abusive ex-boyfriend. After Emily escapes her ex’s kidnapping, she accidentally breaks her glasses and must travel blind with Sam on the phone as her only guidance. 

Sam

Jolene Purdy as Sam
“Jolene Purdy as Sam,” UNSEEN, directed by Yoku Okumura, 2023, (MGM)

An insecure and apprehensive liquor store clerk who often endures insults and customer abuse in quiet defeat. Once she receives Emily’s call, Sam goes through great lengths of her own discomfort and crises to help this stranger. 

Charlie

Michael Patrick Lane as Charlie
“Michael Patrick Lane as Charlie,” UNSEEN, directed by Yoku Okumura, 2023, (MGM)

A violent and erratic man who seeks to track down and murder his ex, Emily. Charlie sees himself as a victim of a broken heart and will do everything to get his bloody vengeance. 

Carol

Missi Pyle as Carol
“Missi Pyle as Carol ,” UNSEEN, directed by Yoku Okumura, 2023, (MGM)

An uppity, rude, and verbally abusive customer who makes Sam’s life a living hell. Carol is every employee’s worst nightmare, and because she sees herself as right- her most extreme actions are justified to her. 

Review


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Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing) –  Recommended 

Highlights

The Performances- Midori Francis and Jolene Purdy Give People You Root For 

Midori Francis and Jolene Purdy each give wonderfully grounded and intense performances that make you believe the premise and root for each of them. While they spend most of their scenes alone (which is especially challenging for an actor with no scene partner), they can still make each moment feel collaborative and alive. 

Color Scheme and Editing- Like Biting into a Violent Gumball 

A story primarily told through a phone call can be limiting, but the filmmakers get creative in editing and angles to make each narrative challenge a visual treat. The film utilizes split screens to provide character parallels and exposition and heighten the intensity to great effect. The film’s punk energy also vibrates in neon pinks and greens- providing a cheeky touch to the most suspenseful moments. 

On The Fence

Short Run Time Hinders Character Backstory

The action starts immediately, and the story continues even through the credits. With a run time of less than 80 minutes, you want to keep your eyes glued to the screen. While its economic and punchy storytelling is mostly impressive, one part that may be lacking is the relationship exposition between Emily and her mom. It feels as if scenes were left out of the final cut that could have better explored the lives of Emily and Sam.

Tonal Shifts in Characters/Acting

While Sam and Emily seem to be acting in a dramatic thriller, the supporting characters are written to be intentionally silly and sometimes cliche. Emily even remarks how her ex-Charlie’s dialogue sounds cliche. The supporting performances are fun, and the tacky behavior can work in horror/thriller movies, but the contrast can make the audience feel like they’re watching two separate movies. 

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Title Card for Unseen (2023)
Unseen (2023) – Review/ Summary
Overall
Unseen is a candy-coated thriller that gives the audience and rising stars Okumura, Francis, and Purdy a quick terrifying treat to sink their teeth in.
Highlights
The Performances- Midori Francis and Jolene Purdy Give People You Root For
Color Scheme and Editing- Like Biting into a Violent Gumball
Disputable
Short Run Time Hinders Character Backstory
Tonal Shifts in Characters/Acting
80

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