Hysteria– | Review Score – 3.5/5
Trauma– | Review Score – 3.5/5
Somnambulant– | Review Score – 3/5
Totem & Taboo– | Review Score – 3/5
Desire– | Review Score – 2.5/5
Regression – | Review Score – 3/5
Catharsis– | Review Score – 2.5/5
Suppression– | Review Score – 2.5/5
For a show predominantly set around criminal profiling and hypnosis, Freud has a serious problem waking up and showcasing a consistent identity. What begins as a bleak dive into the human psyche, with some grounded ideas around hypnosis and experimental procedures, quickly dissolves and adds numerous supernatural elements, satanic cult-rituals and plenty of bloodshed along the way. The result then is a show that begins as one thing and ends up as something completely different, which will almost certainly throw you off if you go in not knowing what the show is about.
The story itself revolves around a fictitious account of scientist Sigmund Freud. After being ridiculed for his ideas surrounding hypnosis and unlocking hidden rooms in one’s memory, Freud quickly finds himself caught up in a murder mystery plot. What begins as a simple enough “whodunit”, quickly descends into something that involves the local police investigator Kiss (who has his own separate sub-plot running parallel to the main story) and a mysterious girl called Fleur.
This girl finds herself at the mercy of the Count and Countess (Sophia and Viktor) and what follows is a plot that very quickly changes at the midway point into something far more fantastical and supernatural than what we get early on. Expect plenty of full-frontal male and female nudity, bloodshed, violence and lots of satanic imagery as Freud and Fleur team up to try and get to the bottom of what’s happening. While the series does end on a definitive note, and wraps up most of its plot points by the end, it’s also a series that very much feels like two different ideas shoehorned into one.
With each episode clocking in at around 55 minutes or so, there’s a fair amount of this German series to get through and the moments that Freud is at its strongest is when the series doubles down on its hypnosis and exploration of the human psyche. From the dreamy segments back-dropped by a black background, through to the numerous different spliced edits that blur and distort the scenes playing out, there’s plenty of potential here for an intriguing crime drama about the criminal mind.
Alas, the series doesn’t do that and instead the halfway point injects a lot more blood and trippy, hallucinogenic scenes into proceedings as the true nature of the story is unveiled. With a repeated haunting melody and the actual musical score doing well to keep things consistent, the lighting and general direction of the show does well, even when the story is a little shaky and takes some unexpectedly poor turns.
There will be fans of this of course and some will like the unexpectedly supernatural turn this one takes but if you go into this with no knowledge this is occurring and expect something played out as an exploration of the human psyche, you’re sure to leave disappointed. There’s enough positives with this to prevent it falling into the realm of poor, forgettable TV shows but there’s also not enough to help this stand out as a strong and competent series in its own right. With a heady prescription of clarity, Freud could have become a more concise series with a clear vision of where it wants to go but unfortunately there’s too many issues in this one to overlook.