Hypnotic Plot Synopsis
The premise for Hypnotic is pretty straightforward and actually quite enticing, especially after a tantalizing taster during the prologue.
Our protagonist is recently unemployed and grief-stricken Jenn Tompson. She’s still mourning the loss of her child after a heartbreaking 33 minutes following childbirth, and this black hole caused her to break up with Brian, her ex. As Jenn’s friend Gina tells her, she’s “in a vortex of crap.”
In order to find her way out, Gina suggests Jenn visit the mysterious and creepy Dr Collin Meade. This guy is a master of hypnotherapy and can apparently help her overcome the grief she’s suffering from. Fast forward three months and Jenn is a changed woman. Or is she?
Why is Brian in the hospital?
During the movie’s time jump forward three months, Brian and Jenn appear to be getting along much better. However, she receives a call from an unknown number, encouraging her to go shopping. Jenn blacks out the whole incident and wakes up back home, with Brian in the bathroom passed out in a pool of his own vomit.
Now, during the opening act it was established that Brian is allergic to sesame, following a close call during a dinner date. The seeds and/ or the oil could lead to anaphylactic shock if ingested.
It turns out Dr Collin Meade actually hypnotized Jenn into poisoning Brian with sesame, which she finds out after finding receipts in the bin. Meade was the one who rung her from an unknown number, whispering the words “carry the fire.” However, Jenn manages to regain control long enough to save Brian’s life and bring him into hospital, where he spends the rest of the movie recovering.
Who is Andrea Bowen? And what happened to her?
As Jenn starts to investigate Dr. Meade, she uncovers a similar case involving a woman named Andrea Bowen. This woman died mysteriously in Portland. According to the police, she had actually filed a restraining order against Collin Meade three days before her death.
However, because crimes under hypnosis were new to the criminal court at the time, no charges were made against Collin. Okay then.
Interestingly though, Andrea reported that she too started to experiencing missing time before her death. Now starting to grow suspicious, Jenn conducts a background check on the good doctor and learns that there’s no official documents linked to Meade; six months ago he didn’t exist.
Andrea also happens to be the woman we saw at the start of the movie, hallucinating into believing the lift was closing in on her. It turns out she was claustrophobic and Meade used this fear against her, which led to heart failure.
What is Dr Collin Meade trying to accomplish?
As we reach toward the conclusion of the movie, Wade examines Meade’s patient files and realizes there’s a pattern between the women. The three dead victims linked to Meade – Lillian Dorsey, Andrea Bowen, and Mona Szohr – all look alike and have an uncanny resemblance to Jenn.
Detective Wade Rollins deduces that Meade is only using hypnosis on women who share physical characteristics. But why? Well, as we soon find out, Meade is actually grooming these women to replace his dead wife, who passed away a year prior to this movie’s timeline.
Jenn decides to use another psychotherapist, Dr. Stella Graham, to understand what Meade has done. When Stella tries to enter Jenn’s mind though, she suffers an anxiety attack. It turns out Meade has left a fail-safe of sorts there to prevent anyone else rooting around for answers. However, Jenn does find an address during her brief flashes: “1010 Haven” along with a gold bracelet engraved with “March 6”
Jenn heads off alone and confronts Collin Meade, finally learning the truth.
Who is Collin Meade?
It turns out Meade’s father is Dr. Xavier Sullivan, the mentor he’s mentioned numerous times across the film’s runtime. He worked on a CIA project called Project MKUltra which was to use hypnosis in order to plant false memories inside people.
Collin Meade’s real name is actually Jullian Sullivan too, and he used this same technique on Jenn and the other women that look like her. The idea was to have Jenn replace his wife Amy, who died tragically a year before.
Meade used his hypnosis numerous times on Jenn over the weeks, slowly implanting memories before waiting for the opportune time to strike. And that time? March 6th – his anniversary date with Amy.
How is Jullian stopped?
As the film reaches its crescendo, Wade shows up at 1010 Haven to try and stop Meade. He’s clever, and manages to use the fully-controlled Jenn to fulfill his every wish. Or so Meade thought.
It turns out Stella actually planted a trigger in Jenn’s mind to reverse Meade’s hypnosis upon hearing the words “my love.”
After some trippy hallucinations, including seeing Wade instead of Meade, Jenn fires off two rounds and kills Meade. She then saves Wade’s life too, stopping this therapist in his tracks.
How does Hypnotic end?
The film then picks up a month later. Jenn is working a new job and moving on with her life. She’s still visiting Brian in hospital, where he’s in a coma but recovering slowly. She’s made peace with her trauma and accepted the loss of their child. She wants to try and make another go of their relationship when he recovers.
Wade Rollins has had a promotion following him solving the hypnosis murder cases. He hands over gift for Jenn, a CD for self-hypnosis, as Jenn scoffs and utters “well played”, the film comes to an end.
Now, there are numerous questions you could ask about the film’s logic, such as why no one thought to check Colin Meade’s credentials before allowing him to start up his own therapy sessions in town. Does no one have social media? Has no one bothered to check who this dude is? Why didn’t Jenn check up on this guy before three months had passed?
However, the movie does end on a positive note with all the big plot threads (but not logic) wrapped up by the time the final credits roll. With plenty to chew over, Hypnotic’s conclusive finish (in that everything is tied up neatly) is perhaps the best part of this thriller.
Read More: Hypnotic Movie Review
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