REVIEW: ‘Hypnotic’ is the most you could fit into an hour-and-a-half

Starring Ben Affleck, though not his best role this year

An official poster of Hypnotic.


An official poster of “Hypnotic.”


Usually, when I go to the theater to watch a movie, the movie is part of a well-established franchise or a “based on a true story” biopic-style movie.

While “Hypnotic” is not the best new movie I have seen this year, I enjoy and respect that it is a unique story that is not a sequel or prequel to anything else.

I had heard essentially nothing about “Hypnotic” going into my viewing; I had not seen any trailers for the movie, and I only had seen a review of it because I had sought one out.

I thought that was pretty interesting. While I do not think “Hypnotic” falls into the summer blockbuster category, Ben Affleck is the starring actor; I thought the movie would have gained more traction with him as the star.

This is not even Affleck’s best role this year, but it is refreshing to watch a movie that is not involved in a larger cinematic universe; it can get tiring to have to do your homework before watching the newest Marvel or DC movie to make sure you know every side character.

The plot for this movie is really interesting but also can be confusing, leaning heavily on the “unreliable narrator” plot device, which is a cool element of the movie. It is hard to recap the plot without spoiling the movie’s end, so I will try my best to dance around the spoilers.

The movie begins with Ben Affleck’s character, Danny Rourke, in a therapy session, talking to a therapist about the abduction of his young daughter, which eventually led to the end of his marriage.

Rourke is a police detective and has to leave his therapy session to go respond to a tip about a bank robbery. Rourke gets to a van decked out with cameras and surveillance equipment that the police department has set up to keep an eye on the bank and surrounding areas.

They see an older man sit down and talk to a woman, telling her how hot it was that day. The woman agreed with him, and as if in a trance, she got up and started taking her clothes off to try and cool down.

The man goes up to two security guards and says something similar, it is shortly after revealed that the man, known as Lev Dellrayne, is a hypnotic that is able to use his enhanced powers of suggestion to influence people to do his will.

Dellrayne is somehow involved with the kidnapping of Rourke’s daughter, but I will let you watch the movie and see the connection for yourself, reader.

Overall, “Hypnotic” was an enjoyable movie, but my biggest gripe is the length. I am usually a fan of shorter movies, and this clocks in right about an hour and a half, and that is great. However, I think this movie would have been more successful if it had more time to develop the characters and the plot.

I was not really sure what was going on until almost the end, which I think the director did intentionally, but I was trying to connect the puzzle of the plot without a whole lot of information.

The twists and turns of “Hypnotic” are fun, but by the end, the movie tries to be too much like “Shutter Island” or “Inception,” with the turns getting to the point where they muddle the plot a little bit.

“Hypnotic” was an enjoyable movie that I am glad that I saw; it breaks the typical monotony of being part of a massively long film series or a biopic on a well-known person or story.