Only Slightly… – Unhinged (1982)

Three girls are heading to a concert one day when they crash their car in the woods. Soon after they awaken to find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings and discover they have been taken in by a woman and her mother and while thankful, they realize something is slightly off. The mother as played by Virginia Settle is quite old-fashioned and believes her daughter to be sneaking men into the house all the time and though the audience is never made privy to any of that, there is a man lurking around who may or may not be responsible for the violence that soon begins.

On one hand, Unhinged released in 1982 is a slasher that is fairly suspenseful in nature and enough so that one cannot help but want to see where it leads and yet on the other, the acting and the dialogue are so horrendous that it makes getting there a little bit of a chore. Also present is a fair amount of nudity which should please any male, or female, viewer and some fairly bloody kills, three to be exact. Director Don Gronquist manages to lend the film a bit of style in certain places, like the mansion where the girls reside which ends up being slightly claustrophobic and not simply due to the dimly lit interiors. Gronquist combines it with the two women who live in the house and their attitudes and as such, it is absolutely stifling. In fact, the entire movie is dark, not just in atmosphere, but in tone and content. What starts out innocently enough gets derailed by that one moment and little do the women know, their lives are soon winding down to a very tragic and final fate.

The acting, as mentioned, is bad. Out of everything in the film, it is the greatest weakness that it sports and one has to wonder if a little time was spent on improving the script and a little money was spent on acquiring some talent, this movie would most likely have been a lot better than it was. As it is, the film never got to the point that it was frightening or even a little scary, though there is a twist ending that has to be seen to be believed and it is shocking to say the least as it was so unexpected.

When people say ‘run, don’t walk,’ in reference to things that are amazing in nature, it does not refer to this film. That being said, Unhinged is not a complete waste of time and is a decent enough slasher that has moments of greatness despite its weaknesses.

2.5 out of 5

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