Director and writer A.T. Sharma has created a film in which a young therapist (Tim Torre) tries everything he can to save his patient (Adam Johnson, who is really great in this) including hypnotism. The problem is that that backfires and soon the issues that his patient is undergoing begins to slowly go even more unhinged than a man who is struggling to keep his business solvent and his family together.

Starting with “The following is based on actual case studies” and ending with a long quote about the Catholic Church trying to keep exorcism relevant — “There continue to be cases of demonic possession that goes mis-diagnosed as mental illness today. The Catholic Diocese states that there has been a recent increase in exorcisms in the United States and around the world. As faith is in decline, more people are opening themselves up to the reality of evil. Father Vincent Lampert (Diocese appointed exorcist)” — this film has some disquieting moments, including a grisly suicide scene that shocked me.

By the way, Lampert is the designated exorcist of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and part of the Pope Leo XIII Institute in Milwaukee, a training school for American clergy to learn how to perform an exorcism.

This is a little all over the place, but it’s got an interesting take on possession and how modern medicine attempts to stop it. I sometimes ponder how much of possession is just mental illness and how much of mental illness is possession.

This movie was part of the Another Hole in the Head film festival, which provides a unique vehicle for independent cinema. This year’s festival takes place from December 1st – December 18th, 2022. Screenings and performances will take place at the historic Roxie Cinema, 4 Star Theatre and Stage Werks in San Francisco, CA. It will also take place On Demand on Eventive and live on Zoom for those who can not attend the live screenings. You can learn more about how to attend or watch the festival live on their Eventlive site. You can also keep up with all of my AHITH film watches with this Letterboxd list.

One thought on “ANOTHER HOLE IN THE HEAD FILM FESTIVAL 2022: Hypnotica (2022)

  1. the answer is there in the human mind – on some level the psychiatrist with his regimen of drugs and therapies is just the update of the exorcist with his rites and mumbo jumbo and the witch doctor before him with the regimen of drugs and rites. The power of belief, string theory, the weird ways everything is connected, means reality is almost totally an agreed upon hallucination of a constancy. I used to think ‘just a hallucination’ or just ‘mental illness’ or ‘all in the mind’ was to a way of dismissing these things, but now I see that saying something is just in ‘your head’ is like a fish assuring another fish there’s no such thing as water. If that makes any sense. The mind is almost as vast or more so than the universe so determining a set ‘reality’ is just a matter of attempting a mutual interpretation of transitory, subjective phenomena. Just ask someone who can speak a language they never heard before after being hit in the head by a rock


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.