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Review Psychic (1991): Hitchcockian whodunnit!

genre: thriller, crime

Hmmm This poster looks very similar to the poster of The Psychic (1977) Coincidence? Very unlikely!

This film opens with a scene where a young woman gets killed by a man using a belt. While this is pretty disturbing it's not the remarkable part. The fact that this murder is dreamt by main character Patrick Costello (Zach Galligan, Gremlins 1 and 2) is. You guessed it, Patrick is the psychic mentioned in the title.

While all of this sounds intriguing there is one thing that makes it less so. The killer is not concealed that well. If you know your actors then you pretty much know who he is. However here is where the film acts slightly different from your typical whodunnit and goes Hitchcockian. You see we can't be sure of what Patrick sees is real or not. Throughout the film you are being reminded of this. And I have to say that it was quite effective because even I was doubting myself of what was going on exactly. (I am a huge fan of thrillers and have seen so many that it is real hard to surprise me.) It helps enormously that the cast take the material seriously and do their best to act sincere. Although Psychic does limit itself a little by not offering more red herrings. After you crossed out several possibilities it is pretty clear how everything will play out. Is it disappointing that this film doesn't do more? No, I think that they genuinely were trying to tell a story that can be perceived as real and wanted to avoid those bizarre twists often find in films like these.

Psychic is one of those thrillers best enjoyed very late at night when everything is very quiet and you are super relaxed. Because that is when you can get immersed with very little effort.

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