Friday, February 17, 2023

Unlocked (2023)

Streaming Service: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: Unlocked (2023)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Length: 1h 57min
Rating: 16+
Production/Distribution: Studio N, Netflix
Director: Tae-joon Kim
Writer: Akira Shiga
Actors: Si-wan Yim, Woo-hee Chun, Kim Hee-won, Park Ho-san, Jeon Jin-oh, Kim Ye-Won
Blurb from IMDb: A woman's life is turned upside-down when a dangerous man gets a hold of her lost cell phone and uses it to track her every move.

Selina’s Point of View:
Horror/thriller movies still attempt to travel back in time when phones weren’t so common, and technology still had us disconnected. It’s the easy road to take. Dropped phones and remote cabins with no service are getting tired and old. We are not in the 80s anymore. We all have a phone in our pocket and most of us have a computer on our lap, too. There are cameras everywhere, and even those remote cabins tend to get service these days.
That doesn’t make us immune to scary situations. In fact, life is even more frightening these days.
Doomscrolling, phishing, hackers… these things can be the catalyst for a significantly terrifying tale – and they’re underused in cinema. I’d watch the hell out of a psychological thriller based around doomscrolling.
Unlocked touches on the terror of ALWAYS being connected in a way that has been done before, but not as successfully. What makes it scarier is that it’s mostly plausible. Although the plot can get a touch convoluted at times, the motive draws it together with so much chaos that everything feels neater. It’s a little hard to explain, but if they’d gone with a more involved motive, it would have made things feel a little unbelievable.

Woo-hee Chun (Beotigo, A Little Princess, The Anchor) tied every terrifying moment together. Her character’s obliviousness in the face of danger made it feel like anyone could be in her shoes. While Si-wan Yim (Road to Boston, Run On, Hell is Other People) seemed so normal that it raised the hair on the back of my neck, knowing what his character was doing when he wasn’t playing a part.
I only have two complaints.
Despite being advertised as a mystery, there’s no real ‘who dun it’ involved. The story follows the victim, the antagonist, and the cops the whole way through. I do wish that it hadn’t followed the antagonist so closely. It would have made some of the reveals much more effective.
There was also some distractingly obvious product placement.
As a general rule, I’m not worried about product placement. If a beer bottle is prominently displayed, it doesn’t bother me. That said, there was more than just the occasional bottle on screen. This was flat-out Superman II (1980) level product placement. It was a bit out of place.
Still, I enjoyed Unlocked. I was never bored, and the ending was extremely tense.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score –7.0/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 4/5
Movie Trailer:

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