Parents' Guide to

Nocebo

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Creepy, thought-provoking thriller has disturbing images.

Movie NR 2022 97 minutes
Nocebo Movie Poster

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Offering a unique twist on a scary movie, writer Garret Shanley summons a social justice message that's likely to stay with viewers. Thanks to Nocebo's creepy, unpleasant images, a feeling of wanting to flee is part of the experience. Part of the thrill is figuring out what happened to create Christine's (Green) illness, but director Lorcan Finnegan doesn't keep it a secret -- you may catch on where it's going, but you're never going to guess how it ends.

While the film has thought-provoking material, families might find a more immediately pertinent conversation by following the thread of unintended consequences. Nearly every character makes a self-serving choice that in the moment, doesn't seem likely to have a negative outcome but in fact leads to devastating results. The storytelling can be taken on face value, or that message can be extrapolated to the way wealthy countries impose their will on vulnerable ones, making them their "servants" and paying them in fractions of their worth. Nocebo is a statement that what ails the world isn't in our heads.

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