GRIMMFEST 2016: My Thoughts On – The Unseen

Kicking off day two of Grimmfest 2016 was the UK premiere of an intriguing little Canadian film called, The Unseen. Director, Geoff Redknapp treated the audience to a pre-recorded video intro before the screening started as the film was also having its Canadian premiere in Vancouver the same day.

The Unseen is a movie that is undoubtedly weird. It takes two concepts, the first, a family searching for their missing daughter and the second, the father turning invisible and somehow makes a believable and legitimately enjoyable film out of it.

When you’ve got the locations of Canada to work with, you can guarantee some beautiful cinematography and The Unseen certainly has that. But along with that comes a great, heartfelt story, strong performances and effects that, for a low budget thing like this, are pretty impressive.

There are a number of slightly lighter moments in the film to go along with its fairly dark story. Just think about an invisible man beating another man up. If that doesn’t make you smile, nothing will.

Aden Young plays Bob Longmire, the father, who after leaving his family years before, is called back to be a real father to his daughter. The daughter (Julia Sarah Stone) wants adventure in her life which results in her going missing but this may also have something to do with her father’s condition.

Admittedly, the film seemed a little confusing around half an hour in. It seems to have a slightly unnecessary side plot that ends up resulting in a few of the more action packed scenes but the main focus here is the relationship between Bob and his daughter and that is played out very well. It’s clear that they both want to be in each other’s lives and, along with help from the mother, Darlene (Camille Sullivan) have to fight through Bob’s ‘unique’ condition together.

The Unseen is certainly one of the most unique films you’ll see this year and is well worth your time…if you’re into the whole bizarre invisibility thing of course.

The director, Geoff Redknapp, is more known in film circles for his work in make-up and special effects on such films as Deadpool and The Cabin in the Woods so it makes sense that his first feature length effort would incorporate something like invisibility that requires impressive effects work to be successful.

And yes, it is successful.

The film is very interesting, exploring themes of alienation and loneliness along with the family dynamic. The invisibility serves as a metaphor for Bob’s alienation and we see how much it has affected his life, learning that he was once a big ice hockey prospect and that he made it to the NHL before having to leave due to his condition.

It’s important to note that the invisibility is a secret not easily hidden and that it is treated not in the way many would think. It’s not played for laughs in the film at all and it takes a lot for Bob to eventually come to terms with it, with reconnecting with his daughter being a major player.

If you’re looking for a uniqueness with a film, look no further than The Unseen, a very well made, very interesting and entertaining little thing. Redknapp may well be a director to keep on your radar.

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