Director – Jason Todd Ipson
Cast – Corri English, Marisa Petroro, Ben Livingston, Abner Genece, Derrick O’Connor, Scot Davis, Joshua Alba, Jay Jablonski, Anna Johnson
Release Year – 2006
Reviewed by John of the Dead
When I attended the very first Horrorfest back in 2006 this was my favorite watch out of the films I saw. After viewing it for the first time since watching it in theaters I can say that I still enjoy this film as much as I did back then, and for the same reasons. We do not get many horror films these days that have to do with the medical field, and this is one of the better horror films to incorporate the horrors of medical school.
Unrest follows Allison Blanchard(Corri English; Killer Pad, House of Fears), a new medical student taking on her first day of a pathology class. When she unveils her cadaver it is obvious this cadaver was no ordinary person, she comes with numerous self-inflicted wounds, and an eerie feeling lingers over the body. Soon enough, those having anything to do with the young woman’s body begin to suffer strange deaths, and the closer Allison comes to discovering just what happened to the woman, the less time she has before she is next.
I really cannot tell you why, but truth be told this flick truly is a guilty pleasure of mine. Sure I love that it blends the medical field and the horror genre, but something else draws me to this film, and I think it has a lot to do with Jason Todd Ipson’s direction.
You know I am big on atmosphere, and right from the get-go this flick takes off with excellent atmosphere thanks to Ipson’s use of lighting and sets. I was very impressed with the production value with this low-budget horror film, and it shows how creative execution can get you somewhere when you have little to work with. The hospital setting only adds positives to this flicks spooky atmosphere simply because all hospitals are naturally scary. The long winding corridors and numerous dark corners during the night scenes provide the perfect opportunities for some genuine scares and tension to develop, and using motion sensored lighting was a genius idea as well. Now this film claims on its tagline to be the first film to use real bodies, and while I cannot say whether that is true or not the live-action effects involving the usage of the young woman’s body were awesome and provided some of the best scares this flick has to offer. In all reality, we don’t see very much in this film, and that is really one element that I heavily enjoyed. When you offer great atmosphere, a cool story, and allow the me to freaky myself out then I will always leave a happy camper.
Story-wise I really dug this flick, despite some heavy flaws. I really liked the idea of this film following first-year medical students, because we all know that when it is your first year of ANYTHING you are going to clown around, and that is what ultimately leads to the demise of our main protagonists. I can honestly say that I have never seen a horror film that focuses so much on one cadaver, and I dug that original idea. This is made further awesome by giving the cadaver a mysterious background that our lead Allison Blanchard must cleverly decipher if she wishes to save her life and the lives of those around her as well. Once we get into the background of the cadaver we are met with an interesting idea involving spirits and potentially demons, and while this idea was not overly used to its full potential I still got an OK amount of interest out of it. Now I mentioned that this flick comes with some heavy flaws, and I meant every one of those words. There are some scenes in this film that are absolutely silly, and while I found them to just be overly cliché genre elements that I can totally appreciate I know the general consensus will find them too silly to respect, and they are probably right(hence my “guilty pleasure” towards this film).
Overall, this is a film that I have enjoyed since its debut in the original 2006 Horrorfest, and to this day I still find this film engaging thanks to its unique storyline which blends horror and the medical field, positive direction, and some nice spooks that get the job done. This is not an amazing watch, but one that you should find at least borderline-positive on a night when you need a quick fix of horror.