DISQUIET comes to us from writer/director Michael Winnick and stars well-seasoned actors Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Rachelle Goulding, Lochlyn Munro, and Garry Chalk.
DISQUIET starts at an eleven and doesn’t stop the ride for most of the movie. After a near-fatal car accident, Sam (Meyers) wakes up in a hospital room but very quickly we see there’s more than meets the eye. Like, say, an old man who goes absolutely bananas trying to kill Sam but keeps disappearing somehow. Eventually, Sam meets up with others in his strange predicament, and they try to find out what’s going on and how to get out. But the answer might just cost them everything.
So, this movie has feral old men, scalpels, racist cops, beauty standards for women, a morality tale, a couple of scalpels, faceless monsters, zombie chicks, and a few scalpels for good measure. It tries to tell a bigger and more complex story, which unfortunately just doesn’t work well with the tone. Unlike Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark or Mister Limbo, the morality tale is a bit stale when you wake up and choose violence as your starting point.
The twist itself was fine. It’s easy to spot and unlike Mister Limbo, doesn’t become more intricate as it continues. I hate to say that Sam was a boring character, but when he’s surrounded by more compelling characters and stories that get very superficial treatment, it kind of shows.
I think if they continued the balls-to-the-wall action and made it with less of a message, or leaned into the message and made it less action and more of a Bright Hill Road type of story, DISQUIET would have been a more effective narrative.
And here’s the point in this review where I want to give a spoiler, but I feel this is a crucial issue to discuss when considering if you want to watch DISQUIET. Okay? Here we go.
It was very distressing to watch a young Black man get shot by a cop in more than just one scene. At that point, it feels vulgar. Thankfully, Lochlyn Munro has basically made it his whole career to be that guy we don’t like, and he’s incredibly talented, as is Trezzo Mahoro. Thank goodness for these two actors doing their best with it but, with so many young Black men victims of police brutality and violence, it was hard to watch. Especially more than once.
However, even with my grumblings, there are some stellar moments in DISQUIET. The music by Rich Walters is stunning and adds to the story, creating a sense of unease and confusion. Props to effects and choreography of the fights. It’s not easy to make it believable that a frail old man can be dangerous. But seriously, that old man (Bradley Stryker) really spooked me well and deserves some kind of recognition for his performance.
The bottom line is that DISQUIET won’t be for everyone. It has an interesting premise and there are parts of it that are good; however, the whole of it is a bit lacking. It’s good for a watch if you don’t mind the violence, but definitely don’t watch DISQUIET with your racist uncle unless you’re also looking to fight an old man.
DISQUIET will be released in select theatres, on Digital and on Demand on February 10, 2023.
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