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Review The Hypnosis (2021): I got a heavy Flatliners vibe with this one!

genre: mystery, horror, thriller

Chances are you probably haven't even heard of these film and truth be told you won't miss out on anything. And I am not entirely sure if this was advertised as a film you ought to watch. It's not like I would pull down my big screen and projector to watch these even if cinematography wise it does have something to offer. Still I do admire the ambition and creativity of the people involved with the production of The Hypnosis. Unfortunately their execution could have used some improvement.

Let me start by saying that The Hypnosis starts out wrong. You see a young man rolled into this big room on wheelchairs to indicate he is some mental patient. In this room a psychiatrist (at least I assume) immediately starts to hypnotize him without any conversation. Then the film cuts to the main characters who are gathered together. This opening is beyond puzzling. I mean what was the point of opening like this. Even in hindsight I see no added value to the events in the film other than to make you wonder. Except I didn't. It would have made more sense for us to get a glimpse of what the young man is exposed to when he is hypnotized. A little later we see this young man get into contact with the main characters who each of them have been experiencing some issues. For close friends they are very tight lipped about this but I guess they don't want their friends to needlessly worry. But eventually it becomes clear that each of them have been seeing the same thing. For some this is surprising since unlike two of them they hadn't undergone hypnosis. All of them also can't remember persons or events of their past. At this moment I felt that the film was a bit similar to Flatliners (1990). There you also had young students experiencing and seeing things from the past. 

All of this could and should have been thrilling stuff. Apart from some disturbing visuals and effects the tension and suspense simply wasn't there. I get what they were trying to do. And believe me there was enough there to put you on a scary thrill ride. Yet they failed to deliver on this. It's my guess that in their ambition they tried to misdirect you once too many instead of just keeping things simple. I think some filmmakers seem to think that being vague and abstract as possible makes events more compelling. In general this is rarely the case. Mysteries always should consist of hints and clues so that the viewer can connect the dots. It should also be clear what the mystery is. It takes a while to get there. And I am pretty sure that a majority of the viewers already tuned out before it does.

I have to admit there are some clever elements in this film that will make you appreciate the misdirection and the setup. It's a real shame though that narrative wise this film is a mess. I had zero to no connection to any of the characters nor was I truly invested in the events since it's not even clear what is happening until far too late in the film. And by that time I wanted something that would have bigger impact. Perhaps they thought the finale was exactly that. Expect it wasn't. I didn't really care. Sure I felt for one specific character in the way I would care for any person in the world reading or hearing about it. However why didn't this movie show us more of this person. Why not introduce us to this character in proper flashbacks? Especially since the whole mystery was based on the tragedy concerning this person. And why not give us more background on the main characters themselves? Especially since the reason for them not remembering is so incredulous and ridiculous they should have given some dimensions to them so that you would feel something towards them. It's hard to divulge on this without spoiling. Not that you will be blown away by the reveal/ Although it could have been.

The Hypnosis is a prime example of what happens when you can't tell a story the right way. Even with all the good and compelling elements it's not going to give the impact the film deserves. Ok enough when you happen to catch it somewhere on TV or online. But not something I can recommend.


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