Netflix original films are like the fast food of the film world; they are cheap and easy to make, they will temporarily fill you up, have a passable taste that is familiar and unnecessary, but you will either forget the food or regret the Quick Fix altogether. Hypnotic, by filmmakers Suzanne Coote and Matt Angel (The Open House), does not let your curse curse to suggest this disposable thriller, but it will also not have you under magic. It’s another serviceable, if overwhelming here-and-there feature of Netflix, which provides a solid premise and compelling lead performance from Midnight Mass‘Kate Siegel.
Siegel stars as Jenn, a capable but unemployed computer programmer who was fired by her ex-fiancé after suffering a setback. Stopped in a rut, her friend offers an appointment with the beautiful therapist Dr. After her first hypnosis session, Jenn experiences a Black Out during a date with her ex Brian (Jaime M. Callica) which has almost deadly consequences for Brian. Jenn then begins a series of coincidences connected to Dr. Meade with the help of a Det. Wade Rollins (Dulé Hill). The couple quickly realize that the good doctor is anything but good.
Hypnotic mainly suffers from being a thriller that lacks suspense at all. The film presents “hypnotic suggestion” sequences where a character sees something, usually one of their phobias, that is not there, but these dallies in conventional horror are too few and far between. The film borrows some of the rhythms of erotic thrillers of the 90s like Night Eyes but is virtually sexless and sterile. Furthermore, much of the plot depends on the characters answering phone calls from unknown numbers, but no one under the age of 50 answers their phone anymore. Do not believe me? I have Proof.
Nevertheless, Kate Siegel tries her best. As Netflix resident horror queen, the seal shows that Jenn is in a bad place without slipping into the cartoon or appearing as if she’s in an anti-depressant ad. Jenn feels like a lived character, and Siegel never goes over the top when inexplicable appearances begin.