directed by Jason Todd Ipson
(Lionsgate, 2006)

Unrest has more than its fair share of problems, but I have to admit I did enjoy watching it. I can't give director Jason Todd Ipson too much credit, though, because he wrote as well as directed the project -- and this storyline has some gargantuan holes and death-defying jumps of logic interspersed throughout.

The inclusion of several really annoying little things (such as the fact that first-year med school students are constantly referred to as doctors) also takes something away from one's enjoyment. Still, I have to admit that there's just something about Unrest that I liked.

First-year med student Alison Blanchard (Britney Spears lookalike Corri English) isn't the first student to ever pass out at her first sight of a dead body, but she may be the first to explain her lunch-tossing reaction as a response to a strong feeling that something isn't esoterically right with her cadaver. She recovers in time to help her lab partners start dissecting the body, but she becomes obsessed with finding out whatever she thinks the exceedingly dead corpse is trying to tell her. So far so good with the creepy atmosphere, which is further heightened by the fact that poor Alison actually has to reside there in a dark wing of the hospital until her financial aid comes through. Her professor and lab mates just think she has typical med school jitters, but it becomes obvious that something far from typical is going on when individuals connected to the body start turning up dead.

The casting in this film is, if nothing else, interesting. I think English does a pretty good job in the starring role, and the fact that she bears such a strong resemblance to Spears makes her even more interesting to watch. Speaking of very attractive women, you're also treated to the captivating performance of Deal or No Deal's Marissa in the role of a rather mesmerizing minor (yet crucial) character. You also have Jessica Alba's brother Joshua playing the role of one of Alison's dissection partners, while Derrick O'Connor makes for something of a quintessential gross anatomy instructor.

This film reportedly used real human cadavers, but that fact doesn't make Unrest a better or more provocative film -- especially if you only learn about the use of real human cadavers after you've already watched the movie. As always, the story's the thing, and this story just has far too many problems to qualify as any sort of stand-out title in the After Dark Horrorfest collection.

review by
Daniel Jolley

12 March 2011

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