Unhinged (2020 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Derrick Borte|
|Written by||Carl Ellsworth|
|Music by||David Buckley|
|Box office||$42.8 million|
Unhinged is a 2020 American action thriller film directed by Derrick Borte, from a screenplay by Carl Ellsworth. The film stars Russell Crowe, Caren Pistorius, Gabriel Bateman, Jimmi Simpson and Austin P. McKenzie. It tells the story of a young woman who is terrorized by a seemingly mentally ill stranger following a road rage incident.
Unhinged was theatrically released by Solstice Studios in Germany on July 16, 2020, and in the United States on August 21, 2020. The film was notable for being the first wide theatrical release in several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and has grossed $42 million worldwide. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised Crowe's performance but felt the film did not take full advantage of its premise.
Tom Hunter, a mentally unstable man invades the home of his ex-wife and kills her and her boyfriend before setting the house on fire and drives away as the house explodes. Rachel is running late to work when she has an altercation at a traffic light with a stranger whose life has left him feeling powerless and invisible. Soon, Rachel finds herself and everyone she loves the target of a man who decides to make one last mark upon the world by teaching her a series of deadly lessons.
Rachel Flynn, a newly-divorced single mother living in New Orleans, drives her 15-year-old son Kyle to school. While driving, Rachel gets stuck in rush hour traffic, and honks at a pickup truck that has failed to go after the light has turned green. The owner of the truck, Hunter, soon catches up to Rachel and demands an apology. The exchange escalates and a chase ensues before Rachel loses the man and is able to drop Kyle off at school.
Hunter tracks her to a gas station and steals her phone while she is inside. A frightened Rachel gets help from a customer who accompanies her back to her car but Hunter rams him with his truck and pursues Rachel in another chase before she is able to lose him again. When Rachel tries to contact her friend Andy, a divorce lawyer, for help, she finds that Hunter used the daily planner in her phone to locate Andy and brutally kills him in the diner where they were supposed to meet. Hunter continues to stalk and harass Rachel. He attacks her brother Fred in his house and kills Fred's fiancé, Mary. Hunter then sets Fred on fire just as police arrive at the house. They manage to shoot Hunter in the shoulder but he still escapes. Hunter then catches up with Rachel again on a highway.
Rachel and Kyle are pursued to her mother's old house, where Kyle hides inside. Hunter attacks Rachel in the driveway and goes into the house to find Kyle. As Hunter attempts to strangle Kyle, Rachel picks up a pair of scissors and stabs him in the eye, killing him. Rachel finds out that Fred had survived the attack and was in the hospital. After providing statements to the police, Rachel and Kyle leave to go and see Fred. As they drive away, a car cuts across Rachel and she almost honks her horn at the driver, but decides against it after what they have been through, to which Kyle simply responds, "Good choice."
- Russell Crowe as Tom Hunter, a mentally unstable stranger.
- Caren Pistorius as Rachel Flynn, Kyle's mother.
- Gabriel Bateman as Kyle Flynn, Rachel's son.
- Jimmi Simpson as Andy, Rachel's friend and divorce lawyer
- Austin P. McKenzie as Fred, Rachel's brother.
- Juliene Joyner as Mary, Fred's girlfriend
- Stephen Louis Grush as Leo, Convenient Store Guy who saves Rachel from Tom
- Anne Leighton as Deborah Haskell, Rachel's client
- Michael Papajohn as Homer
- Lucy Faust as Rosie
- Devyn A. Tyler as Mrs. Ayers
- Samantha Beaulieu as Cashier
- Andrew Morgado as Richard Flynn, Rachel's ex-husband and Kyle's father.
Unhinged was originally scheduled to be released on August 28, 2020, before being pushed back to September 4. In May 2020, its release was moved up to July 1, 2020, in order to "likely be the first to test the waters as theaters try to rebound" from the COVID-19 pandemic. The date was later pushed back to July 10, then July 31, and, on July 23, the film was again delayed, this time to August 21, 2020. The film began a premium video on demand release on October 20, 61 days after opening in theaters. Normally if distributors put a film on VOD before the 75-day window, theaters will stop showing it; however, given the pandemic, exhibitors feel it "remains a welcome addition to a limited release schedule".
The film began an international release on July 16 in Germany, and then on July 31 in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Asia, and Latin America.
In its opening weekend in Canada, the film made $601,032 from 299 theaters. Playing in both the United States and Canada the following weekend, the film grossed $1.4 million from 1,823 theaters on its first day, and went on to debut to $4 million over the weekend; 71% of the audience was over the age of 25, with 56% being male. It was the first film with a weekend gross of over $1 million since Onward in March, and despite theater chains reopening some locations the top-five grossing venues were all drive-ins. Deadline Hollywood noted the increase of ticket sales from Friday to Saturday was likely an indication of audience interest moving forward, while The Hollywood Reporter called the film's debut a win, and said studio executives were "pleased by the results." Playing in 2,331 theaters the following weekend, the film made $2.8 million (a drop of 35%), finishing second behind newcomer The New Mutants. In its third, fourth, fifth weekends of release in the U.S. the film made $1.7 million, $1.5 million, and $1.3 million, respectively, with drive-in theaters remaining its top venues.
Unhinged grossed $251,849 from 380 theaters in its German debut, slightly below expectations but finishing in first place. In its second weekend the film made $201,655 from 438 theaters for a 12-day total in the country of $530,572. In the film's United Kingdom debut, it grossed $230,000 (£174,901) from 250 theaters, becoming the first film to make over £100,000 in the country since the re-opening. By its third week of release, beginning August 7, Unhinged was the top film in six of about 50 countries, and had a running international gross of $5.41 million. Its top markets at the time were Australia ($1.24 million total gross), Germany ($877,000), the Netherlands ($597,000), the United Kingdom ($575,000), New Zealand ($193,000), and Russia ($124,000). It continued to hold the top spot in the UK and Australia the following weekend, with a global running total of $7.7 million.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 47% based on 185 reviews, with an average rating of 5.27/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Russell Crowe makes for a compulsively watchable villain, but Unhinged lacks enough intelligence or depth to get sufficient mileage out of its pulpy premise." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 40 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."
Guy Lodge of Variety said that the film "delivers exactly the nasty B-movie thrills you expect," and wrote, "The carnage is the point here, not any of the reasoning behind it, and Borte and Crowe bring it to a suitably frothing, furious head." Writing for CTV News, Richard Crouse gave the film two stars and specified, "Unhinged distinguishes itself by keeping the pedal to the metal without providing anything new in the way of thrills. As a study of an emasculated man seeking revenge it brings to mind Falling Down, Michael Douglas' 1993 black comedy, except Unhinged is all darkness and no comedy."
Writing for IndieWire, Kaleem Aftab gave the film a "D" and said, "For a film so reliant on the telephone, it's probably not a surprise that Crowe dials in his performance. Dressed heavy-set, Crowe is all grimaces and frowns in disgust at everything around him. His only emotional note is all ANGRY, resulting in a parody of his own performances. It's Crowe on overdrive, and it's horrible."
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Rookie distributor Solstice Studios’ flagship film has picked up more than $5 million and to get domestic moviegoers excited about the action thriller (which has mediocre reviews), star Russell Crowe has shared a series of tongue-in-cheek ominous video messages on Twitter.
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Russell Crowe is known simply as “The Man” in the new action-suspense film “Unhinged” as the Academy Award-winning actor delivers a performance that’s evil personified.
- "'Unhinged' Sees Increased Business On Saturday For $4M Opening As Exhibition Turns Lights Back On". Deadline Hollywood.
Solstice Studios braved the continuing pandemic and assisted the major exhibition circuits to reopen this weekend in the US with their Russell Crowe road rage action movie Unhinged.
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