• Wardah Khan

REVIEW: 'Hypnotic' - An Easy To Watch Thriller

Spoiler-free review of Netflix's newest psychological thriller

It feels like recently Netflix’s content strategy revolves around releasing stuff that’s just a one-time watch. The streaming platform’s latest offering, a thriller movie is also no different. There’s isn't a more perfect time to release a horror or thriller than October. Having said that Hypnotic is not at all a horror movie so it’s safe to watch if you like having your thriller separate from horror.

Hypnotic - Image: Netflix

Hypnotic’s Plotline Is Little Cheesy But Still Watchable

Jenn Thompson, a capable software engineer who is currently unemployed is attending her friend Gina's housewarming party. From her quirky gift choice, we get the idea that something is up with Jen. Her ex is also there and initially, her friend even tried to make her leave before she entered her home. Then at the party, we learn she's been the topic of conversation when she meets her friend's therapist Dr. Meade and is introduced as “The Jen”.

We soon realize Dr. Meade is thoroughly intrigued by Jenn and closely watches her every move, especially Jenn's interaction with her ex.

Before leaving, he hands his card to Jenn and tells her to visit him. Upon her friend's persistence, she agrees to visit and Gina tells her the appointment is already scheduled.

In the first session, we learn that Jen had a miscarriage and after that, she went into depression. In the same session, Dr. Meade suggests hypnotherapy and coaxes her into trying it. A shady doctor suggesting hypnotherapy, what could go wrong? Well as it turned out everything.

Excellent Performances

Kate Siegel is Netflix's very own horror queen. It was her portrayal of Jenn that made the movie more engaging for me. Some of the choices Jenn was making were clearly a bit dumb but Kate’s acting made sure the audience keep sympathizing with her.

After Kate, it was Jason O’Mara’s Dr. Collin Meade that didn't let this thriller turn into a spoof. While the director duo of Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote made sure everything around him was dripping with evil, Jason didn't try to act as a caricature of a villain. His restrained acting is what made Dr. Meade menacing enough to be taken seriously.

Dulé Hill as the detective has less screen time but whenever he appears he makes it count. Though the movie lacks in some major departments, some thin character development, for example, the cinematography is where it wins.

Hypnotic Is Predictable Enough To Keep You Engaged

The movie certainly gets you hooked within the first fifteen minutes. The good thing about Richard D’Ovidio’s script is they didn't try to keep the doctor's intentions a secret. From his pitch-black office to his demeanor each time Jenn visits, it is quickly established that he is bad news. His wickedness is revealed much earlier than in traditional thrillers so you're only left with one question, why the obsession with Jenn?

If I have to sum up my review it's that 'Hypnotic' is best for those who prefer the mildest form of a thriller movie where the answer is predictable with no jump scares.