8 July 2003 | horns-1
Truly a startling ending.
Unhinged is a movie that'll likely endear itself to me the more times I see it. I will say that without the ghastly end scene this one would've been cast into the inky black void of the forgotten. There are films, especially in the horror genre, that are buzzed to have twist endings, powerful surprise endings that shock and have never been encountered, well, in regards to Unhinged that's almost the truth. While the idea/situation/plot may not be entirely underived (having an essence of Hitchcock's Psycho, for example), the film's progression shrewdly shrouds the climax. Being the seasoned, desensitized horror fan that I am, even I sat up captivated, feeling a bit unnerved as I watched the last scenes unfold. I can't say many splatter flicks have that effect on me. The killing was extended, which made it all the more uncomfortable and startling to watch, yet is exactly what many horror films lack. To compare Unhinged to Sleepaway Camp (1983) would not be entirely wrong (with slight similarities in the plot), but instead unfair, as this film was the first made of the two (1982). I find it laughable sometimes when I run across reviewers who state that the film they've watched was same old same old, nothing new when they're reviewing a horror movie from the '70s or early '80s.
Despite all the stalely delivered dialogue, Unhinged is a good horror film. On the DVD release I have, in "special features", there's a TV interview with the director, Don Gronquist, and one of the actresses who I felt gave the best performance. Mr. Gronquist is one of the worst speakers I've ever listened to. I wonder what he's like on the set. `Sp-p-p-p-p-p-it it out, junior!' Anyway, if you're a fan of '70s and '80s slasher films you must see Unhinged.