Hypnotica (2022)

EDITOR’S NOTE: I watched this at Another Hole In the Head film festival and now it’s available on digital platforms.

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.

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