On the plus side, there is a slickness and an intensity to Peter Folegs direction that makes it all work rather well. Some of the editing a cut from one character disappearing beneath the floorboards to a chickens head being chopped off is crass, but the sharp photography and a superlative score from Michael J. Lewis that manages to be threatening and melodic at once gives the film a highly professional sheen. The climax does go on far too long and contains too many false deaths (although it is nice to see the sexist cliché of the boyfriend arriving as timely savior getting turned on its head). Mostly though, Peter Foleg keeps the film moving well.
There is some awful acting most notably from Mrs. Ringo Starr, Barbara Bach, who simply doesnt; Sydney Lassick who takes the giggly sadism completely over-the-top; and Leila Goldoni who goes to the other extreme with her hopeless, neurotic performance. On the other hand, there is Stephen Furst, behind a terrific makeup job, who approaches the role of the psycho-child as a mime performance and creates a character that is both sympathetic and terrifying in its incarnation.
Behind the pseudonym of Peter Foleg is Danny Steinmann, the director of the exploitation movie classic Savage Streets (1984) and Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985). Because the finished version of The Unseen was substantially recut by producers behind his back, Steinmann took a pseudonym. (A detailed analysis of what happened can be found in an interview with Steinmann by Jeff Cramer at A Very Candid Conversation with Danny Steinmann). It is odd though when a director disowns the best film in his oeuvre.
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