Parents' Guide to


By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Slick but shallow thriller has violence, peril, language.

Movie NR 2021 89 minutes
Hypnotic Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

it is a nice film...recommended to watch it since it deals with weird issue and show people interests, fears, not to trust others or believe ditectly people without being convinced...adding to that how to deal in danger situation and being smart in analisis

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

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.

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