Disquiet (2023) – Michael Winnick

There are some fun and familiar ideas at work in Michael Winnick’s Disquiet which is getting a limited theatrical run, and VOD release tomorrow, but it just isn’t as strong as it could be. At just under an hour and a half I still felt the editing could have been tighter, and the characters could have been fleshed out a little more, especially since most knowledgeable film-viewers will know where this one is going from the off.

Sam (Jonathan Rhys Meyers turning in a very rough, uninspired performance) wakes up in a seemingly deserted hospital after being involved in a traffic accident. All he wants to do is get back to his pregnant wife, but something in the hospital doesn’t want to let him go.

I loved the way the film started with characters appearing and disappearing leaving you with a WTF is going on here sensation, but when other characters begin to get introduced, and really bad lighting effects and performances become the norm for the film, it becomes a bit of a slog.

That being said, if this had been a little tighter, some of the editing is truly jarring, and the characters a little more fleshed out, this would be a film that could be entertaining. As it stands there are a little too many on-the-nose references to what is going on, in terms of dialogue and names. It doesn’t leave anything to the imagination, and any interest I had in the first few minutes of the film were sadly lost as I delved deeper and deeper into the movie, realizing before the characters did where everything was going.

I’m all for low-budget horror and using an old hospital as your location, that should imbue the film with a natural unnerving ambience, but it never quite clicks. Despite the trailer suggesting that the film is more of a horror, it plays more as a supernatural mystery. The cast is trying to figure out what is going on, but most audiences will already be ahead of the game on that one making for disappointed viewing.

This could have really been something. If it had leaned into its mystery a little more, given a little bit more character development, and had some fun with its spookier moments. As long as you aren’t expecting too much from it, this is an okay one-time watch, but anyone with a little film knowledge is going to have this one all figured out pretty quick.

Disquiet is available tomorrow on VOD.


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