FrightFest Presents VOD film review: The Unfolding
Any material worth at all1
Is there any point adding anything?1
Ian Loring | On 15, Mar 2016
Director: Eugene McGing
Cast: Robert Davis, Nick Julian, Lisa Kerr
Watch The Unfolding online in the UK: iTunes / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / TalkTalk TV / Virgin Movies / TalkTalk / Eircom / Volta / Xbox / Sky Store / Rakuten TV / Google Play
A film’s title is one of the most important elements in a film’s marketing and likely commercial success. A title can offer intrigue or a sign of the familiar or sometimes it can just leave you feeling entirely non-plussed. It is a warning sign going into The Unfolding that with a title as generic as this, we might not be in for the most illuminating hour and a half or so. One has to imagine those behind the film must have been hoping that it would ask people “What is to unfold?” or “How much paper is going to be on-screen at any one time?” or perhaps they felt like playing an inside joke, with the next in the series called “The Plot Development”.
Not only is The Unfolding generic, it is also almost admirably defiant in its attempts at utterly boring the living snot out of you. Horror film set in a creepy house in the middle of nowhere? Check. Character who becomes seemingly possessed by the presence of the house? You betcha. Heavy handed attempts to be about something, in this case how the sins of the past can infect the present and future? Good golly, Miss Molly, you’re bang on the money.
Does it do any of this with any sense if style or panache, though? Well, if you count an inconsistent use of fixed-shot, security camera footage, more traditionally-shot stuff, where the security cameras you should be able to see don’t happen to be there, and cutaways aching to be portentous, then The Unfolding is as stylish as Terence Malick teaming up with Nicolas Winding Refn to make an 80s-set, neon-drenched ode to the chasing of the light. For anyone who happens to be sane, however, no, it’s not, it feels as if the whole thing has been made by a 19 year old who’s done one semester of film school.
It also shows absolutely no regard for trying to do anything to actively BANG BOO CRASH SMASH AAAAAHHHHHHHHHH.
Did that scare you? Neither will The Unfolding. Full of loud jump scares and out-of-nowhere booming voices, not an ounce of dread and menace is conjured without the soundtrack spiking up suddenly in a pathetic attempt to try and get you. You can’t even laugh at the narrative at the centre of the thing, people making consistently stupid decisions and also seemingly paying very little attention to outside threats, which are so obviously going to rear their heads later on. There is nothing to recommend about The Unfolding.
The Unfolding is one of the new wave of films released on VOD through Icon and FrightFest’s digital banner, FrightFest Presents. For more information on the other titles available from Monday 29th February and throughout March, click here – or keep up to speed with our FrightFest Presents Month.