Movie Name: The Unseen
Studio: 21 Centure Film Film Corporation
Release Date(s): September 1980 (Japan)/September 1981 (USA)
MPAA Rating: R
Jennifer Fast (Barbara Bach) and her sister Karen (Karen Lamm) and their friend Vicki (Lois Young) are headed out with Vicki to cover a parade and festival for the news. When their hotel reservation falls through, Jennifer, Karen, and Vicki find rooms with Ernest (Sydney Lassick) and his wife Virginia (Lelia Goldoni) in their rural home. The Kellers are hiding a secret and the secret could be deadly.
Directed by Danny Steinmann, The Unseen is a horror suspense film. The movie was released in Japan in September 1980 but wasn’t released in the United States in 1981.
The Unseen is a weirdly balanced movie. The film moves at a snail’s pace for a lot of the film and then picks up with an ending that is loaded with too much. The horror of The Unseen is a campy horror that more laughable than horrific. With a semi-twist ending, a ******spoiler alert****** is in effect for the review.
It seems like the creator of The Unseen had the plans for an ending, and they needed to fill the time to get to their dream ending. It is the build-up for an explosion, but there is so much going on in The Unseen that the horror is diluted. The movie also gives away some secrets too early with other reveals being obvious. You have a giant inbred severely disabled child (who is killing people) and he’s not the scariest part…it is the freakish father who sleeps with his sister and becomes a hatchet wielding maniac.
Sydney Lassick continues to be a strange actor. He was a scene stealer in both One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Carrie and here his bizarre nature steals the scene. Stephen Furst (of Animal House) unrecognizably plays the inbred Junior for the final scenes of the movie. Barbara Bach is good as the scream queen for the movie though Lois Young and Karen Lamm are lacking since there are only three main “victims”. The weakest part of The Unseen has to be the Barbara Bach-Douglas Barr relationship with the painfully obvious knee injury returning in a final scene in slow-motion.
The movie actually looks pretty good. The movie should have played more with the voyeurism idea. Scenes were the women are being watched are the more interesting scenes and the horror of Junior should have been more of a focus.
The Unseen is a fun movie in that it is so over-the-top. There is some gore around the ending, but generally the horror isn’t very horrific. The movie can often be found online and is worth seeking out for a good laugh. Enjoy the camp of The Unseen and maybe just skip to the last twenty minutes if nothing else…it will give you more appreciation for “Flounder”.