A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Overcome hardships with help from friends and good therapy.
Positive Role Models
Jenn wants to get her life back on track, feel better, and forgive herself. She's open to therapy and help. Once she realizes her danger, she does seek help from a police officer, detective Wade Rollins. Wade is a hero, looks into Jenn's case, and even kind of saves the day. A woman therapist offers the kind of help Jenn should have received in the first place.
The main character is a White woman, and the villain is a White man, but both of the primary male significant others and the detective are Black men.
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Violence & Scariness
Lots of fear, moments of peril, and some violence. Two men get into a fight, punches are thrown, and one attempts to choke the other. A man hits another man with a crowbar. A woman imagines being crushed to death by enclosing elevator walls. A woman stabs a man in the arm, slashes his side, and gets thrown off into a coffee table, hitting her head. A woman shoots a man in the torso, and police shoot a man in the chest multiple times until he's dead. A man is put into the hospital after eating a food he's allergic to. He chokes and passes out in the bathroom. A woman imagines a spider on her while driving, speeds into a red light and intersection, and gets hit by a semi-truck, killing her and her husband. A man dresses and applies make up to a woman without her consent. Many women black out, hurt others, and hurt themselves without wanting to. One woman imagines she's being choked to death. A woman shares her story of losing her child to stillbirth at 6 months old. Mention of suicide.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man and a woman sleep together, but only the morning after is shown with the woman still in bed under covers. The man left a note. A woman has sensual and romantic dreams about a man. One dream shows a man and a woman cuddling in a bed, half-naked (no nudity is shown). A woman shows cleavage while doing some yoga. Romantic relationships are discussed and referenced.
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Strong language includes a few instances of "f--king," "s--t," and "bitch."
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Products & Purchases
References to Uber and Apple iPhones.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink alcohol, wine, beer, whiskey.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hypnotic is a thriller about a depressed woman looking for help getting her life back on track. Having experienced a devastating loss, Jenn (Kate Siegel) agrees to see a therapist (Jason O'Mara) who specializes in hypnosis. But this therapist is not all that he seems. In this occasionally violent movie, women are hypnotized and then do things they don't consent to (and have no recollection of). Women pass out, have strange dreams about the man hypnotizing them, and imagine things (often terrifying things) that aren't there. Expect a fair amount of psychological and physical violence, psychological torment, moments of fear and peril, women behaving and doing things without their consent, gun violence, and stories of murder. There are some gruesome deaths, fist fights, stabbings, chokings, and mention of suicide. A woman discusses losing her child to a stillbirth at 6 months old. Some scenes feature rhythmic and bright flashing lights. Sex and intimate relationships are briefly talked about and referenced, and adults drink wine, beer, and whiskey. Strong language includes a few instances of "f--king," "s--t," and "bitch." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The performances from this wonderful cast go well beyond the shallow script and illogical story. Slickly produced and coolly shot, Hypnotic is all surface. Without any depth to the characters or story, things seem to just happen, one after the next, rather than develop naturally. This lack of depth also makes the film feel like a connect-the-dots moving picture. No surprises here, no red herrings, subterfuge, no twists and turns. Further, the characters never complicate or go beyond their initial framework: sad/scared woman, best friend, scary doctor, good cop. Unfortunately, and despite Kate Siegel's great efforts otherwise, Jenn just never comes across as believable, likable, or interesting.
But most of this has to do with the writing of her character as completely useless, inept, and dumb. For example, comparing Jenn to Maddie from Hush (co-written by Siegel), provides stark contrast. While not a great movie either, at least Siegel's written work better realizes a woman protagonist who organically acts and reacts to a terrifying situation. It's shocking how little agency Jenn is given or has in this movie. When she does make a decision, it's almost always the wrong one, and often it's incredibly stupid, and particularly so because she is smart. But is she? Yes, a male character does say Jenn is smart, but this seems to be the only evidence on offer, if, indeed, that itself even counts. For instance, once knowing how the villain triggers his victims, multiple women freely answer their phones, and always after clearly seeing "UNKNOWN CALLER" on their screens before answering. Further, once Jenn knows everything, not only does she go to "the cops" (quickly getting a meeting with a detective, who also, insanely, freely shares everything he knows about an old case that was never solved) successfully, she also (by herself and without protection or a plan) goes to the home of the villain to... who knows what the plan was. The villain is also a disappointment, primarily because of, again, his lack of depth. There's just not much to him.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.