Review: You Might Be Seduced by 'Hypnotic'

by Kevin Taft

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday October 27, 2021

Jason O'Mara in 'Hypnotic'
Jason O'Mara in 'Hypnotic'  (Source:Eric Milner/Netflix)

While the premise is a step above a Lifetime movie, Netflix's "Hypnotic" is bolstered by another winning performance from Kate Siegel ("Midnight Mass," "Hush").

In their latest thriller, Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote direct a script by Richard D'Ovidio ("The Call") that centers on Jenn (Seigel), a woman who is compelled by her best friend Gina (Lucie Guest) to visit a hypnotherapist to help her move on after a difficult breakup.

That therapist is Dr. Collin Meade (Jason O'Mara), a handsome, successful doctor with a fancy office and a confident nature. He asks the skeptical Jenn if he can hypnotize her to help with her anxiety and — after some reluctance — she agrees. And it works!

But soon enough, Jenn starts to realize that she's losing time, and it's quite possible she's been hypnotized to do things based on subliminal suggestion from Dr. Meade. Of course, no one believes her, so she has to start investigating the doctor herself and re-opening an old investigation into his past.

Things begin to spiral out of control as Dr. Meade finds out about Jenn's curiosities and starts to go on the defensive. Jenn must race against time (and his hypnotic suggestions) to prove he isn't the good guy he claims to be, and to wrestle her way out of his control.

The truth is, "Hypnotic" has great performances and an intriguing premise, but it never rises beyond TV movie shenanigans. Siegel is quickly becoming one of my favorite actresses (see "Haunting of Hill House" and "Midnight Mass" for evidence of her talent), and, aside from being saddled with a terrible wig, she is excellent.

O'Mara is good, but doesn't achieve the menace needed to make this film as creepy as it could be. And, as stated, the script by D'Ovidio isn't much more than a C-movie thriller. (His "The Call" was really fun, so we know he has it in him.)

There are some fun sequences of Jenn falling under Meade's hypnotic spell, and the film finds some tension in that. There were some missed scripting opportunities for crowd-pleasing one-liners when Jenn takes control of her situation, but those are minor quibbles.

While it's nothing to be seduced by, "Hypnotic" easily passes the time, and it's always worth falling under Seigel's spell.

"Hypnotic" debuts on Netflix October 29th.

Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to 'Star Wars' and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg.