Hypnotic is a horror-thriller film starring Kate Siegel, Jason O’Mara and Dulé Hill. Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote direct the movie. The film’s runtime is 88 minutes long, and it premiered on Wednesday, Oct. 27, on Netflix.
= Netflix’s Hypnotic Review doesn’t contain any spoilers –
Hypnotic Movie Plot is an Unrewarding Effort for the Audience
The movie plot leads to a few good scenes, but the script is not up to the task of delivering the apocalyptic tension that concept deserves. The viewers don’t know what it’s about, except that hypnotism is scary and there are some disturbing images here.
While the story is more or less predictable, the actors are more than competent at their jobs. You’ve seen this all before in this genre, but you also know it doesn’t always work out this well. Kate Siegel does a powerful job of making us believe. I’m not sure how much credit should go to her for that or how much goes to the director’s Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote.
It also doesn’t help that any tension evaporates as soon as we learn about the psychotic killer’s identity – something we discover almost immediately. With no mystery to solve, what remains is a stock character whose backstory hasn’t been thought through by the writers. Like all thrillers, Hypnotic ends with a twist that does nothing to improve our view on proceedings.
Final Verdict: Incredibly Lazy Storytelling in Hypnotic Movie
Some people complain about the sound mixing (the music sometimes drowns out dialogue) and other technical flaws. This is the kind of movie that makes you nervous because you know you’ll have to watch it again to catch all the clues you missed the first time around. I’d say it’s worth the effort if your viewing habits run to movies like this. But don’t be disappointed if you’re expecting something more clever than it is. It’s not precisely a cerebral exercise, after all.
This is a one-joke movie, but it’s a good one. The joke is that the very concept of hypnosis is embarrassing to the people in this film. It’s a grand tradition, traceable as far back as the Enlightenment when it was popular to suggest that “mesmerism” was a hoax perpetrated by charlatans and the unsuspecting public.
The one thing that could have changed the game for this morality tale of horror is if our protagonist had been more exciting or engaging. Unfortunately, Richard D’Ovidio’s script relegates the character to the sidelines for much of the film’s running time, leaving us with nothing but an increasingly tiresome cat-and-mouse game.
Solid Actors with Poor Storylines- Hypnotic Fails to Mesmerize
In this movie, though, people don’t realize they’ve been hypnotized until well after the fact. They know they’re feeling strange and different somehow—and then they find out what happened in a flashback. It’s a great twist on the old chestnut about “I could have sworn that I locked my door,” or “I could have sworn I turned off the stove.”
The movie is set in the present, but the script seems to be stuck in the ’50s. The women are all sleek, fashionable and expressionless. The men are smooth, high-powered and relentlessly charming. They talk to each other like characters in a drawing-room with a comedy of manners.
The title is also a clue that the director knows how to keep our interest: You can call a movie a thriller, mystery, or horror flick, but if the word “hypnotic” is in there, you know you’re going to get some hypnotism. But there are only two scenes where the killer attempts to hypnotize someone, and they play as goofy rather than scary or erotic. That makes sense because if audiences want to see hypnosis, they should be allowed to see it.
Stream It or Skip It?
The movie’s look is more interesting than the story, although the main character is intriguing. There is tension between Dr Meade’s professional responsibilities and his relationships, but it never rises beyond subtext.
Movie enthusiasts may find themselves asking why they should care about any of this when the answers seem so predictable. The answers, of course, are that they don’t have to watch and that they probably won’t. It’s enough to soak up the atmosphere while it lasts.
Hypnotic is streaming on Netflix.