Director Kd Amond reteams with star Sarah Zanotti for the script to The Unraveling. Zanotti stars as Mary, who is happily married to Grayson (Sam Brooks). Suddenly, the couple is in a terrible car accident, leaving her with a traumatic brain injury. Now, Mary can talk to Grayson on the phone and know it is him, but when in the same room, she literally does not recognize him as the love of her life. Nor does Mary perceive her mother’s face, leaving the parent confused. Mary and Grayson’s life becomes even more complicated once she learns she is pregnant.
Amond directs with a feverish energy, matching the confusion and frustration of the protagonist. The intrusion of a shadowy figure who haunts Mary’s waking hours only adds to the unsettling nature of what she’s going through. When Mary tries to eavesdrop on Grayson and their therapist talking, there is a sense of danger to what she might do to get the information. This is not to imply that the thriller is all intensity, all the time. Mary calls the “real” Grayson to have tender heart-to-heart conversations. A fireside chat between Grayson and the mom is actually gentle and understanding of Mary’s condition.
“…Mary can talk to Grayson on the phone and know it is him, but when in the same room, she literally does not recognize him…”
The Unraveling is mostly set in Grayson and Mary’s house. Director of Photography Seth Dunlap makes the single set (though not exclusively) into a place both familiar and yet not. When with Grayson, there’s a certain ease within the frames. But most of the film is seen through Mary’s perspective, and as such, a lot of scenes feel harsh with a live-wire intensity.
Zanotti is fantastic as the vulnerable lead. She plays the confusion and perceived threat to her well-being with absolute conviction. Brooks credibly vacillates between loving and frustrated, especially after learning his on-screen wife is pregnant.
The Unraveling is an entertaining, though intense ride. The directing is strong, and the cinematography is atmospheric. The cast, led by a game Zanotti, excellently jumps through the twists and turns of the story. Just know that the ending will surprise all watching quite a bit.
"…an entertaining, though intense ride."