Unstable (2005) – By Brian Morton

 These days anything that is shot on grainy, slightly wobbly home video is compared to The Blair Witch Project, and that’s pretty unfair, the Blair Witch guys didn’t invent that shaky cam effect and other, better movies have used that same effect much more effectively. That being said, it’s important to me to look at the movie itself, not the way it’s shot. While the way a movie is shot and edited have a lot to do with the storytelling, it’s a bit more important to actually have a story to tell than to have all the ‘cool tools’ and no talent to use them with. Now, with all that off my chest, let me tell you about the movie I just watched, Unstable.

Unstable, on the surface, has that ‘blair’ feeling, but don’t despair, dear reader, it’s far better than that!! Unstable is the story of a filmmaker whose friends have told him they’d take him camping for winning a scholarship. He chooses the friends he wants to go and makes one mistake. One friend is gay and another is a homophobe, and that starts the whole ball rolling. A weekend trip, that’s meant to be a celebration for a friend, turns tense and then deadly, when Bobby (the gay friend) is found dead. Tension mounts, accusations fly, and we, the audience, are left wondering what we might do in that same situation. Could you accuse a friend on circumstantial evidence, would you blame yourself for bringing these volatile elements together? Tough questions for which there are no easy answers.

Anthony Spadaccini uses the ‘shaky hand held’ look to his advantage here, as a filmmaker, it’s only natural that he would carry a camera on a camping trip, and it never feels odd or forced, having everything on camera. Toward the end, I felt like it dragged on a bit, the accusations being flung back and forth began getting slightly redundant, but when the end hit, it was very powerful and made all the friends debate over what to do seem logical. Unstable is a description, not only of the camera work, but the situation the characters find themselves in and some of the characters themselves. This is a very well put together movie that, when all is said and done, makes you wonder what you might do in this same position, and, while usually, thinking doesn’t add to a movie, this time it makes the movie! To see Unstable for yourself or any of Anthony’s other movies, run over to Fleet Street Films.com and check it out for yourself, you won’t be sorry that you did. And, until next time, when I’ll tell you about my own camping trip, where the worst thing that happened was we forgot the smores, remember that the best movies are bad movies.