Review: Hypnotic (Latest Netflix American Thriller Movie 2021)

Presentation Lee McKing Review Hypnotic

So a friend saw the trailer and told me to watch it

Because, you know, Hypnotic hypnotist


Of course, when I saw the trailer, I was like…

“Ah… the bad guy hypnotist…”

But hey, if I got time, I can watch it, and maybe write a bit for a blog article right?

Like so

Oh yes, if you don’t like spoilers, avert your eyes and read something else in my website

Like how does hypnosis work in the first place?

Now if you don’t mind spoilers, or want to read how a real hypnotist analyze a hypnosis movie, by all means, stick around and have a good read 😀

But if you want to just jump to the hypnosis discussion… click here…

Lee McKing The Hypnotist 2

Plot wise?

You know what.. I got to give it a decent rating with regards to the plot

The entire movie from the bad guy perspective is as such

A hypnotist suffered trauma from the loss of his wife, and developed a type of madness to find someone who resembles her in order to make her his wife with the implantation of false memories via hypnosis

Although I personally wish the story could have been developed further but ok, we’ll just stick to this

From his point of view, it actually makes sense

There are many people who suffered a loss or trauma and developed a madness or obsession or even, an aversion to whatever the loss or trauma was about

It’s like a person getting sexually traumatized, and developing an aversion to intimacy

Or even just a breakup with someone you really loved, and keep finding similar people in terms of character or looks to be your new partner

You get the picture

So it’s about a guy who lost his wife and hence kept finding the same type of woman (physical traits like hair color, voice tone etc)

The big difference is: he’s a hypnotist

One huge difference is that ironically, because he is a hypnotist, there is a potential for him to hypnotize himself to resolve the trauma and loss in the first place

Which probably means he didn’t want to let go or move on

And also because of that, he could have recognize he was suffering from his loss and thus, if he cannot hypnotize himself, he can seek another hypnotist for help

But of course, that would mean the movie cannot exist ha~

So the other effect of him being a hypnotist (as compared to a regular person) and suffering from such a loss or developing such an obsession

It made him decide to abuse his hypnotic skills for his own selfish personal gain

And here I got to stop cause… ironically, while that makes sense, at the same time, it doesn’t

Here’s the conundrum, and just follow me for a bit yea?

If I’m a hypnotist, and I want to use hypnosis for “evil” then what will happen?

You might think I’ll be the most powerful person in the world eh?

Ironically, the truth is that I will be the most obvious bad guy that ever existed

It’s like I do not just have a target board on my back, I’m sending a criminal resume to the police


In fact, in the movie, when the main actress Googled the hypnotist’s name, she found that whichever town he was in, there were women who died of mysterious circumstances

The only lead being they are all his patients


But of course, that’s just the movie world right?

In the real world, you will more often find people of differing professions (they can be lawyers, doctors, a taxi driver etc) and they learnt hypnosis for “bad intentions”

Those are the people you need to watch out for because, they have a cover

“Oh I’m a chef, I’ve never heard of hypnosis before” and eyes will shift away to the obvious suspect, the hypnotist in the country even though he is the innocent guy here

Oh the irony~

Thankfully there is something called forensic hypnosis in which the police might get a hypnotist to help aid in an investigation, such as guiding the witness to remember certain details or more details, in the event a traumatic event cause the witness to suffer from memory loss

Somehow, in the movie world, it’s just easier to have a bad guy be in the hypnotherapy profession shrug

Alright I digress

To continue the story…

The main lead is a lady called Jennifer Tompson and at a friend’s party, she met the psychotherapist Dr Collin Meade

Immediately you get weird vibes to be honest… well to me anyway

Why would a hypnotist, counsellor, psychotherapist approach her and seem to keep wanting to connect with her or talk with her?

Especially when Meade said to her that she might want a session for her stuff, and then later on he butts himself into the group, again as if wanting to talk to Jenn more

That’s just weird

Anyway Jenn’s friend Gina also keeps telling her to go have a session with Meade, it’s like Gina herself cannot get Meade out of her mind

They didn’t address this, but I suspect that in prior sessions, when Meade had a chat with Gina, he found out about Jenn and of course, she bears a striking resemblance to his deceased wife, and thus got himself invited to meet Jenn (and also why Gina keep asking Jenn to meet him)

It’s like he knew too much about Jenn before the movie starts you know

Which is why I say the overall plot seems good but the story is meh… can do with more story telling

I’ll just finish up the story bit and comment on the hypnosis later on

So Jenn meets Meade for the first time, shared about her miscarriage and hence broke up with her fiancé Brian, and got convinced by him to start the hypnosis on the spot and while she felt great after the session, she had a bit of a weird dream with Meade and her in bed1

Some time passed, Jenn accidentally meets Meade in a mall and had a meal with him, and Meade tells her to invite her ex fiancé Brian to her place for dinner that very night

She does invite him, but when she went grocery shopping, she receives a phone call and well, you can see something happened2

Obviously she got hypnotized, but like I said, I’ll comment on that later

So she wakes up but Brian is nearly dying because he is allergic to sesame oil

Jenn starts to feel suspicious because she cannot remember what happened in between shopping and having dinner with Brian and when she found the receipt, she started to recall that she bought the sesame oil when Meade called her and said “Carry the fire” 2

She Googled and found a few ladies who also experienced “missing time” and mysteriously died and they were all patients of Meade

So Jenn meets Gina and they went to the police and the detective Wade decided he had to do it on his own cause for whatever reason, the chief said not to continue investigating Meade for the previous female patients of Meade who died

Jenn decided to attempt to catch Meade and tries to record the hypnosis session but he found out and when Jenn listened to the recording, she realize Meade might do something to get Gina killed

Gina is driving when Meade calls and he said, “This is how the world ends” before hanging up (Which is stupid but I’ll comment later)3 and she starts to see a spider on her body (she has a spider phobia) and then in fear, she sped up, crashed and died

The detective goes to meet Meade to confront him a bit but got nothing out of him, Meade offers a free hypnotherapy session but Wade declines

Wade visits Jenn to let her know he is investigating but when he leaves, Meade appears and with just a “stop”, Jenn is now unable to move and after he say a few things, he says “relax” and she can move again4

Meanwhile, another of Meade’s patients went to kill Wade but fails, however he is injured and ends up in the hospital

Jenn visits him and Jenn ask him for their forensic hypnotist to find out what Meade put inside her and thus, went to visit Stella Graham

Graham explains how hypnosis is a powerful tool and can be used for good or bad (actually anything can be used for good or bad… like a knife to cook a delicious meal for your family, or kill the random stranger on the streets…)

However, Meade actually put a type of fail-safe inside Jenn so Graham cannot remove Meade’s suggestions, so she decided to put her own fail-safe in Jenn to protect her5

Jenn did recall an address and she decided to go to this address, supposedly it was the address of Meade’s mentor, thinking maybe he can help

So when Jenn went to the house, she saw she looks similar to Meade’s deceased wife, and Meade appeared and put her into hypnosis6

Eventually as it turns out, Meade is a false identity, he is his mentor’s son, and the address was his house

She woke up when Wade called her, and said she was in Meade’s office, but she was actually still in the house

Wade calls the SWAT Team to Meade’s office but realize no one was around, so Wade rushed alone to the house

There was a struggle between Meade and Wade and when Jenn wakes up again, Wade was beside her saying she is safe and calls her “my love”

This is where Graham’s fail-safe triggered, to help her resist the suggestions at that time by Meade when he says, “my love”

She managed to break free, runs off and found Wade before taking his gun to shoot Meade dead

Now to explain the hypnosis parts

1In the initial session, Meade explains how hypnosis works

And to some extent, it’s pretty accurate

Although I tend to use unconscious mind rather than subconscious mind, and to me, hypnosis is more about understanding how your mind works and utilizing techniques or methods for one thing or another

You can definitely resist hypnosis, and you still have free will under hypnosis

The way Meade does is a more traditional form of hypnosis, by focusing on relaxing the body, area by area

And with the traditional style, yes, you might go deep enough to “fall asleep”, can’t remember anything and stuff

The way I do my modern style of hypnosis, you can not only remember stuff, but you are still awake (hence it’s safer from the client’s perspective)

Of course, in this traditional style of hypnosis, Meade implants some false memories in her without her knowing, and those false memories appear as the weird dreams she got at night when she sleep

Unfortunately, this is actually possible

The traditional style of hypnosis can allow one to implant false memories into the subject, however, having said that, one can also plant false memories into a subject without the use of hypnosis although it will be harder

Think of those manipulative narcissist who might put you down, or deny your real memories to plant their own false versions into you through the use of guilt, shame, or otherwise

Heck sometimes we might create our own false memories through denial of an event, or a delusion to make one seem better than one originally was, or even other variables

So you don’t need hypnosis to do that per sec *shrug*

2Is it possible to hypnotize someone to kill?

For the record, we have absolutely no idea how many other hypnosis sessions did Jenn do with Meade so for him to plant stuff that will cause her to attempt to kill her fiancé in one session is extremely unlikely (especially when you account for the false memories he had to spend time to put too)

So he probably did it over a few sessions

The question is: is it possible?

Let’s break it down

First, you must know there is something called an anchor, which is an external stimulus that invokes an internal response

Anchors are surprisingly common!

If you have a fear of cats, the cat is a visual anchor that invokes the response of fear

When you see your loved one, that invokes the feeling of love (or anger if they recently made you angry haha)

Or if you were scolded so badly by your dad when you were a child, hearing his voice can trigger you to feel fear or shock as well

Now that you understand this, you will realize that the auditory “Carry the fire” can potentially make Jenn go into a hypnotic trance much more easily

Just like what we see on stage hypnosis shows for “sleep”

A huge difference is that the whole world has linked “sleep” as the command for hypnosis, which is why its easier to do that on stage, whereas for an actual session, “Carry the fire” will be an extremely unique command for Jenn and thus needed time to plant into her first

Also, we have such auditory commands or words too, such as in BDSM where the “safe word” will be said for both parties to break out of the trance of the BDSM

So again, pretty common idea

The second portion of this idea is that Jenn buys the sesame oil to kill her ex fiancĂ© which is… a bit far-fetched…

You see, if Meade just use “Carry the fire” to bring Jenn into a trance, that’s pretty straight forward, but if Meade use the command to get Jenn to specifically buy sesame oil, cook and only come out of trance after Brian is dying…

Yea it’s pretty far-fetched because there are way too many steps!

Meade will have had to plan and suggest this specific set of behaviours and actions before he even bump into her and had the lunch with her to suggest her to have dinner with Brian

So the idea is sound, but the entire event is bogus

3The above links to Gina as well

Now in her case, the command is totally different, “This is how the world ends” and again, Gina has to have the specific command for her to imagine a spider on her body regardless of where she is

And in this case, it appears Meade did that in one session with her

That sounds a bit more probable because he doesn’t need to plant false memories into her and its simple and specific

Think of it like a computer program

“This is how the world ends” -> “Imagine a spider on your body”

See, simple

Which is why Jenn’s “Carry the fire” is way too complicated, buying the ingredients, driving home, cooking etc without any other mishaps or accidents hahhaa

Presentation Lee McKing and step out of prison of your mind

4Hypnotic freeze?!

When Meade visits Jenn at her house, the “stop” and “relax” commands is actually possible

But again, Meade got to have added the specific suggestions into Jenn prior to the visit

A hypnotist cannot just say “stop” to someone and he will just stop


If so simple I can just go to the “Smoking areas” and just say “Stop smoking” to every one eh…

Hence, only if Meade planted the suggestions before, then yes, it’s possible for Jenn to follow the suggestions

This is similar to another movie, “Now You See Me”, although their suggestion was that the crowd becomes like football or rugby players and rushed to the police when they said “Freeze”

5What’s a fail-safe mechanism?

Ok this is a bit more interesting, the idea of a fail-safe mechanism

We shall break into a few parts

Yes, the idea of a fail-safe mechanism is actually possible

This is similar to the anchor I mentioned earlier

However, a normal hypnotist usually do not use it for therapy purposes

They might use it for people going through manipulative relationships or abusive families, where it is tough for them to get out safely

For example, if a partner is a manipulative narcissist, employing various manipulative or control techniques on someone, guilt tripping or just breaking down their ego and esteem, a hypnotist might suggest a fail-safe mechanism linking their own self power and control, when the manipulative partner says a particular word or does a particular action

Another possibility is like when Graham put her own fail-safe to counter Meade’s hypnotic suggestions

This is also possible however in the real life, we seldom do this

Why? You might ask

This is because the one attempting “mind control” is usually not a professional hypnotist – they could be lawyers, doctors, or whatever professions

And the subject or victim has no idea they are being hypnotized, so they will seldom approach a professional hypnotist to remove the “mind control”

Controlling other people’s minds through hypnosis alone is not possible, although I will agree that if the subject willingly give up control in the first place, such as roleplaying in BDSM or similar, then that will be as if they are under “mind control”, otherwise, actual “mind control” isn’t possible

I’ll just quickly add something about a US lawyer who only worked with female divorcees, and he will suggest for them to do meditation with him to calm their nerves, however, he puts them in a deep trance, so deep that he can molest or even rape them without them knowing

Eventually he got caught when some of them realize a huge portion of time is gone (2 or more hours), or that their bra or underwear is shifted, moved, or misplaced, or some even found discharge inside them

So yea, I suggest you be aware of the people who do hypnosis without telling you they doing hypnosis, rather than be aware of the professional hypnotist who openly does hypnosis

However on that note, I will say that there may be some bad eggs still, for some hypnotists may try to do bad things to their clients, I’m not saying it’s not possible, if anything, be aware of everything, question and test when possible

Every profession, regardless of whether they are seen in a good light or a bad light in the first place, will have both sides of the spectrum

Ok I’m digressing lol

Now Graham’s fail-safe was to break free from Meade’s suggestions, and I think this is possible

Meade’s fail-safe was to have an abreaction, or what looks like a seizure

This might be possible but hey, if Meade truly “loved” Jenn as his wife, why the hell he want to put her through such pain or torture?

Shakes my head

Anyway, are there normal fail-safes in people already?

If we don’t repeat the BDSM example for sex, surprisingly it is possible

Essentially we can see the fail-safe mechanisms within us as the things we don’t want or refuse to do, things that make us uncomfortable or goes against our ethics

It’s like you might go for a job interview and the interviewer said something that just made you feel weird, and you want to leave, or decided not to take up the job

Or some girls might get molested, and the first instinct is to slap the person, thereby stopping him from molesting further

And no, not all girls do that unfortunately…

So we as normal human beings potentially already have our own personal fail-safe mechanisms inside us

6Last but not least, the big illusion

This is the hypnosis that made Jenn see she was in Meade’s office when actually she is in his house

That’s actually possible

Of course, the subject has to have a high degree of suggestibility and the hypnotist need to put a number of details for her to walk around, open the drawer, take the knife etc

And while doing that, he also has to suggest that she don’t feel that she is seated in the chair

However, if the conditions are right, it is possible

Lee McKing shrug presentation

Overall, like I said earlier, good plot idea, meh story

Imagine if Meade was a policeman with a background in hypnosis, much better cover up and it can have better story building

Also, the hypnosis effects are… not as captivating as I will have liked…

If you read some of the client’s hypnosis experiences that I shared in my blog, you will understand where I’m coming from

They get to visit worlds, meet extraordinary creatures, even talk to Gods

Hypnotic 2021 is supposed to be an American Thriller but… not very thrilling, lack story building, and probably could have used more character development

If you want my input for a movie or series, especially if it has hypnosis elements or otherwise, feel free to drop me a comment below or text me on my Facebook

Til then, I’ll see you next time 🙂

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