‘Unhinged’ is the Worst Horror Film But the Best Comedy of 2020

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Published October 4, 2020
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"Unhinged" is a recently released horror film that reads more as a comedy. Photo courtesy of Solstice Studios and Ingenious Media

Movie theaters reopened in New Jersey on Sept. 7, 2020, which has allowed film lovers to see new movies once again.

Among some of the new releases is “Unhinged,” which was written by Carl Ellsworth and directed by Derrick Borte. This film is terribly categorized in the horror genre. Rather, it comes off as a hilarious comedy about a man’s zany overreaction to some road rage and a woman’s attempt to cope with it.

The acting in this movie is what one might expect from the average “comedy” film: it is either over-the-top or incredibly lackluster. But don’t worry, these poor performances are counterbalanced by the humorous ways that the characters deal with certain situations in the film.

For example, The Man, who is played by Russell Crowe in his best John Goodman impression throughout the movie, reacts to a woman honking at him when he refuses to move at a green light by hunting down the people she knows and loves.

The Man, played by Russel Crowe, stares at a match as the rain pours into his car. Photo courtesy of Solstice Studios and Ingenious Media.

The Man, played by Russell Crowe, stares at a match as the rain pours into his car.
Photo courtesy of Solstice Studios and Ingenious Media

Rachel Hunter, played by Caren Pistorius, is incredibly well fleshed out. This can be seen in all of the expository things that surround her in her first appearance, like in the book “How to Parent a Child of Divorce” intentionally placed in front of her. Rachel’s characteristics overall are similar to those of a tardy divorcee mother.

The characterization in this film would make remarkable film writers such as Jerry Seinfeld proud.

Borte really paid attention in his film classes; you see, there is so much foreshadowing in this movie that everything already mentioned comes up again. This leaves nothing to surprise the audience with and makes for a nice and easy watch, which is usually a huge no-no for horror films.

The best instance of foreshadowing for example is when the villain is presented with a line upon his defeat that he already used when Rachel first met him. The powerful line is delivered with such quality that I couldn’t help but smile.

The true comedy, I wager, is to be found in the hilarious representations of violence. The film once again attempts to parody the more serious horror genre through its outlandish nature.

The imagery fits well into this so-called horror film merely because it is executed in a bizarre and non-realistic manner. We do not feel fear in these scenes because we know so little about the people that are dying. It almost seems incidental.

Photo courtesy of Solstice Studios and Ingenious Media.

Caren Pistorius plays Rachel Hunter, a tardy divorcee mother.
Photo courtesy of Solstice Studios and Ingenious Media

One scene was surprising, as it seemed to pull away from the comedic genre the film inhabits and brings it back to the genre its categorized as. In this scene, The Man asks Rachel which member of her family he should kill first. It was a tense subject matter that had the potential to make the film feel like a horror movie, but it was the execution of this scene that saved the comedy and prevented it from switching genres.

My favorite part of the movie, however, was the beginning, which was one long infomercial about road rage. It was almost like an episode of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” watching how outrageous these people were.

Like any good comedy, there is a moral lesson to be taught. Never honk at anyone. Ever.

Overall, “Unhinged” is a hilarious take on road rage that is fun for the whole family to watch. Take the time to enjoy the reopening of theaters with this real knee-slapper.

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