The Hypnotist (1999)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Thriller  |   Run Time - 109 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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Though many viewers are likely to be left scratching their heads following Hypnosis' somewhat confusing coda, few are likely to deny that they enjoyed the hair-raising ride there. A frightfully fun thriller from director Masayuki Ochiai (Parasite Eve), Hypnosis ultimately succeeds thanks to its unusual ability to successfully pile on scare after scare. Viewers jaded in the aftermath of Ringu (1996) may argue that long-haired girls in flowing white gowns just aren't that scary anymore, and despite yet another appearance of such a menace, Ochiai has seemingly compensated by timing out his various other horrors at a consistent and truly satisfying pace. While not entirely original in concept, Hypnosis certainly stands out among its contemporaries when it comes to tone. Successfully balancing his horrors with an offbeat air of quirkiness, there are few films that can match the oddball air of menace that Hypnosis achieves. One has to be grateful that directors such as Ochiai possess the drive to create something different from the generic terrors that have haunted the box office as of late; and though the possibility of an American remake always looms on the horizon, one can still hold out hope that unconventional efforts such as Hypnosis will continue to flourish with international audiences.