|Directed by||Derrick Borte|
|Written by||Carl Ellsworth|
|Music by||David Buckley|
|Distributed by||Solstice Studios|
|Box office||$43.2 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 grossed $43 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 Cooper, a mentally unstable man feeling powerless and invisible to the world, breaks into the home of his ex-wife and kills her and her boyfriend with a hammer, before setting the house on fire. He drives away as the house explodes.
Rachel Flynn, a newly divorced single mother living in New Orleans, drives her 15-year-old son Kyle to school in rush hour traffic. She is running late to work and honks at a pickup truck failing to go through a green light. The owner of the truck, Tom, soon catches up to Rachel and apologizes, then asks for an apology in return. The exchange escalates when Rachel tells him that she has nothing to apologize for. A small chase ensues before Rachel loses Tom and is able to drop Kyle off.
Tom tracks Rachel to a gas station and switches his phone with hers while she is inside the gas station. Rachel gets help from a customer who accompanies her back to her car and gets Tom's license plate number. Tom then rams the customer with his truck and aggressively pursues Rachel. When Rachel tries to contact her divorce lawyer Andy for help, she finds that Tom used the daily planner in her phone to locate Andy at a diner. Before she can warn Andy, Tom beats and stabs him to death.
Tom continues to stalk Rachel. He goes to her brother Fred's house and kills his fiancée, Mary. Tom then ties Fred to a chair and tells Rachel that she has 3 minutes to go to the school, get Kyle and get as far away from the school as possible before he will set Fred on fire. She gets to the school, desperately demands that the principal releases Kyle. She gets him and drives away. Then, a police officer arrives at Rachel’s house, where Tom is holding Fred captive. Tom sets Fred on fire and then the cop shoots Tom and tries to put the fire out as Tom escapes. After Rachel leaves with Kyle, Tom catches up with them on a highway. They use a tablet GPS application to locate her phone (and Tom, since Tom stole her phone earlier) and find out that her phone and Tom is in a minivan directly in front of them. When they attempt to alert a nearby police officer, Tom rams his cruiser, causing a massive multi-vehicle car accident.
Tom pursues Rachel to her mother's house, where Kyle triggers a silent alarm and hides. Tom attacks Rachel in the driveway and seemingly knocks her out, then enters the house in search of Kyle. As he is about to walk back outside, Kyle inadvertently alerts Tom to his hiding place upstairs. Rachel enters the house in an attempt to protect Kyle, but Tom finds her and they struggle violently. When Tom begins to strangle Kyle, Rachel stabs Tom in the eye with scissors, killing him.
The police arrive and inform Rachel that Fred survived the attack. Rachel and Kyle leave to see Fred at the hospital. As they drive away, a car cuts Rachel off, and she stops herself from honking at the angry driver. Kyle observes and notes, "Good choice."
Principal photography took place in the summer of 2019 in Kenner and New Orleans, Louisiana. Production was completed in September 2019.
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. The film was released in Ecuador on August 6.
Unhinged was released by Altitude Film on DVD and Blu-ray in the United Kingdom on November 23, 2020. It was also released by VVS Films in Canada on November 17, 2020.
Unhinged grossed $20.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $22.4 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $43.2 million.
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, Unhinged holds an approval rating of 48% based on 195 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 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."
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.
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.
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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