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The Hollywood Insider Hypnotic Review, Netflix

Photo: ‘Hypnotic’

Netflix Not Slowing Down

Netflix has been pumping out content faster than any other streaming service. Week after week new Netflix original films and shows are available for over 200 million of their subscribers worldwide. This seems like a wonderful thing, but quantity doesn’t always equal quality. Of course, there is always a bad egg in all production studios, but with the volume of content, there has been a slight lull in the quality of films that are being released. TV shows have been absolutely thriving on Netflix like the recent season of ‘You’ and the ever-growing fandom of ‘Squid Game’. The film industry side has unfortunately been unable to keep up with the series, but it could be because the time and effort have not been put into the films. Netflix loves a series where more and more episodes can be made and lure more subscribers, but films don’t work the same way for a streaming service. Like how a Disney film thinks of their merchandise sales before the film even is completed is the same strategy Netflix is using. 

We can only hope that Netflix will soon realize they are missing the mark with their film choices and focus more on originality and quality rather than quantity and speed.

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‘Hypnotic’: Textbook Thriller 

Netflix’s newest thriller ‘Hypnotic’ directed by Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote is another victim of rushed writing and lack of time spent on originality. While watching, a viewer could almost see the blueprint of every thriller ever made. Hollywood loves the phrase “same, but different” which is brilliant yet can come across as lazy. Why fix something that isn’t broken? Well, it can become very boring and predictable which is unfortunately what happened in this case. Don’t get me wrong, this is a fun watch for passing entertainment, but overall nothing innovating or new for a cinephile. 

Horror icon, Kate Siegel is known for her portrayal in ‘Hush’, ‘The Haunting on Hill House’ and most recently in the mini-series ‘Midnight Mass’. Siegel plays Jenn, a young woman who is still struggling after a devastating loss who goes to see a therapist with expertise in hypnosis. After a few great sessions with him, things start to look up for her, happiness at last. Though this comes to a halting stop after she realizes she is missing time results in a horrible accident. Her suspicions about her brilliant therapist grow when her dreams are infiltrated with him and a Google search leads her to suspect she’s getting stalked by a man who she let invade her unconsciousness. 

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Women in Horror

The more horror films that I watch, the more I am fascinated by the women that are portrayed in the films. In most horror films (or really most films in general) there is always an internal conflict that goes along with the external one that is going on on the screen. In the process of the protagonist solving the external conflict, there is a magical resolution for the internal conflict simultaneously. A good example of this is the classic ‘The Wizard of Oz’, there is Dorothy’s journey of trying to get home to Kansas, but she is struggling with the internal conflict of appreciating her family and friends around her. It isn’t until she is back home and she tells them how much she loves them. 

To circle back to the horror/thriller genre, most of the internal conflict for women is always surrounded around fertility and sex. Whether it be the girl who doesn’t want to have sex with her boyfriend like Sydney in ‘Scream’ or the nightmare of pregnancy in ‘Rosemary’s Baby’. In ‘Hypnotic’, Jenn is struggling with the loss of her child that was stillborn and that is the internal conflict that she experiences and it isn’t until the end she realizes something that will help her with her grief. There are countless examples of women in horror that their internal struggle has to do with something only women can experience firsthand. Similarly in the film ‘Orphan’, the protagonist is dealing with a stillborn and decides to adopt, but goes horribly wrong. 

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Lack of Surprise

Similar to one of Netflix’s recent thriller releases, ‘Intrusion’, there is a lack of surprise present in ‘Hypnotic’. After the first twenty minutes, the entire plot is quite obvious in regards to who is good and who is bad. Of course, there are a few surprises here and there, but no big mind-blowing plot twists. Siegel does a good job of what she was given for this script, but there was almost a sense of fakeness that made it too difficult to fully suspend our disbelief. Again, with a bit more focus on this story and really exploring the possibility of a horror film that involves a faulty doctor with the power of hypnosis, this could really have broken ground in the thriller department. It unfortunately made out to be a mediocre ride with more predictability than shocks. 

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Make sure to check out Kate Siegel in ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ the TV series that is in production now. 

Don’t forget to look out for Matt Angels and Suzanne Coote’s upcoming project ‘Sick’ that is in preproduction. 

Where to Watch

‘’Hypnotic’  is available for streaming on Netflix here.

Actors: Kate Siegel, Jason O’Mara, Dule Hill, Lucie Guest, and Jaime M. Callica|

Directed by: Matt Angel & Suzanne Coote | Written by: Richard D’ Ovidio| Produced by: Richard D’ Ovidio, Jonathan DuBois, and Jaime Elliot |

By Jack Colin

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Black Lives Matter, in which he tackles more than just police reform, press freedom and more – click here.

An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “The Hollywood Insider fully supports the much-needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally a part of this global movement. We will continue reporting on this major issue of police brutality and legal murders of Black people to hold the system accountable. We will continue reporting on this major issue with kindness and respect to all Black people, as each and every one of them are seen and heard.

Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is about more than just police brutality and extends into banking, housing, education, medical, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all your stories. We believe in peaceful/non-violent protests and I would like to request the rest of media to focus on 95% of the protests that are peaceful and working effectively with positive changes happening daily. Media has a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.”

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