Unseen: Soska Sisters tune in to aural horror feature

Unseen will be the Soska Sisters’ next feature, an adaptation of a horror-adventure game with a unique approach to creating fear.

Blindness has long been a trope in horror cinema. Sometimes, it is used to emphasize the strengths of a character (Peeping Tom or The Hills Have Eyes Part 2). But other times, it’s used in an exploitative manner (Mansion of the Doomed). And mainstream Hollywood isn’t exempt from its own transgressions against the vision-impaired (watch Fernando Meirelles’ Blindness…or better yet, don’t). Now, Jen and Sylvia Soska are utilizing this conceit for the upcoming horror film, Unseen.

Based on BlindSide, an audio-only adventure game, Unseen may prove an ambitious challenge for the much-beloved horror duo. In terms of aesthetic, their past efforts have often emphasized gore over nuance.

But who knows? Perhaps this effort will showcase some atmospheric work from the Soskas. And the plot teaser from the press release sounds promising:

 “A Boston couple wakes up inexplicably blind and, in their efforts to find help, they stumble into a world that is menacingly different than the one they knew the night before. They sense the presence of a strange new species, one for which light is not a priority.

Though some of this sounds uncomfortably close to the aforementioned Blindness, one can also extract a bit of Pitch Black and A Quiet Place from the synopsis. Built on their own unique premises (monsters averse to daylight; monsters attracted to sound), those films succeeded as fun, efficient pieces of genre cinema.

With the Soskas claiming Unseen “[will] bring the fear of the unknown to life by putting the focus of storytelling on what you hear,” but nothing known of the exact approach they’ll be taking, the mind boggles at the potential of the viewer assuming the characters’ POV. What would it be like to be immersed in literal darkness for 90 minutes? It would take some ambitious sound editing to create such a visceral horror experience, but I would love to see that come to pass.

Next: DAVID CRONENBERG

Unseen is currently in pre-production. Stay tuned for more information as the feature gets closer to principal photography. 

Are you a fan of the Soska Sisters? Let us know if you will be looking forward to Unseen in the comments. 

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