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After Dark Horrorfest: Unrest
Directed by Jason Todd Ipson
Written by Chris Billett, Jason Todd Ipson
Starring Corri English, Scot Davis, Joshua Alba, Jay Jablonski
Produced by Jason Todd Ipson, Julio Boye, Adam Lebovitz
One of the first medical ghost stories I’ve ever seen comes to us via “Unrest” a dark and sinister story featuring a whole lot of corpses.
Perhaps the only problem is, most of them are already dead when we find them, as opposed to being seen alive earlier in the film.
And this medical ghost story involves Alison, a young woman well on her way to becoming a doctor. But the road to physicianhood goes through Gross Anatomy, a class involving the dissection of human cadavers. But one cadaver, which happens to be the one Alison and her team are working on, seems to be a bit more lively than most. And Alison must find out exactly what is behind the cadaver before the cadaver can take more revenge on those disturbing it—or the spirit therein.
The menu for “Unrest” is a step down from “Gravedancers”—it doesn’t have the impressive opening animation, and doesn’t even offer animations when clicking an option.
One thing I do love about “Unrest” is their use of lighting. Whenever our dear heroine Alison is stalking the hospital halls, she walks into darkness for a couple seconds until limited-range light comes on around her. This provides some absolutely frantic tension sequences, and it’s used to good effect, though not to its best effect. Light will also go out behind her as she moves, another excellent trick.
“Unrest” doesn’t have the same kind of constant assault of creepy moments that “Gravedancers” had, but it’s still got a lot going for it. First off, we don’t see very many serious medical horror movies. In fact, I’m hard-pressed to think of one outside of your occasional “Dr. Giggles” or “The Dentist” type of second-rate splatter.
And there is definitely a shortage of ghost stories fused into a medical room drama. Think a weird combination of “The Eye” and “ER,” and you’ll get the general idea of what kind of movie “Unrest” actually is. Which, frankly, is wildly original.
Wildly original, granted…but not all that scary. There’s one death in the first half of the movie. There’s no appearance of ghosts, and there’s really only a smattering of unusual phenomena. That’s a whole lot of buildup for the entire first half of a movie, and that drags heavily on a movie advertised as “too graphic” and “too shocking for general audiences.”
The ending is actually quite thrilling, with lots of near-miss fatalities. If they would’ve put this kind of thrill into the hour and fifteen minutes preceding it, it would’ve easily been on par with the best. There’s even a little bit of a twist ending, which is an extra plus.
The special features include trailers for The AFter Dark Horrorfest, “Dark Ride” “The Hamiltons,” “Reincarnation,” “Gravedancers,” “Penny Dreadful,” and “Wicked Little Things.”
All in all, there’s nothing wrong with “Unrest” by any stretch of the imagination. It’s only real failing is that there’s not a whole lot specifically scary about it. It’s a very original movie, but as a horror movie, it’s a bit lacking.
Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.
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