Nocebo (2022) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Nocebo (2022) Review

Horrorific content by christina on October 18th, 2022 | Movie Review | Supernatural, Psychological, Medical, Thriller, Mystery, Folk Horror

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It's about a fashion designer who hires a traditional folk healer from the Philippines to treat her mysterious illness, which reveals a terrifying secret.

Nocebo was directed by Lorcan Finnegan (Vivarium and Without Name) and stars Eva Green (Dark Shadows), Mark StrongChai Fonacier, and Billie Gadsdon.

Nocebo (2022) Review

Few things are more natural and lasting than the bonds between family members. These fundamental connections can motivate even ordinary people to do extraordinary things. But unfortunately, the horror genre often deals with parenthood's stresses and fears. Nocebo is a unique and disturbing film that explores this theme in a surreal and confronting way. The film's visuals are truly haunting, and they will leave a lasting impression on viewers. It's a deep, impactful film that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.

Christine and Felix's lives are turned upside down when Diana, a caregiver, suddenly appears and becomes an essential part of their lives. Nocebo is a film that hinges on whether Christine hired Diana as a helper or if Diana has ulterior motives. The film's success depends on whether audiences buy into this central relationship and whether the payoff is worth the investment. Nocebo is a recent horror movie that proves viewers can be patient regarding answers. The film never reaches the heights of other recent horror movies like Barbarian. However, it still goes out on a surprising turn, likely leaving more audiences satisfied than aggravated.

Nocebo is a horror movie that explores the dark side of capitalism, specifically the exploitation of workers from other countries. In this case, the focus is on Filipino culture. Unfortunately, the horror genre has a long history of using the "other" as a source of scare. Nocebo challenges tired horror movie stereotypes by presenting a more realistic view of mysticism and the supernatural. Diana, the film's "other," is a refreshingly honest character who challenges the audience's preconceptions about what a horror movie "villain" should be. This makes Nocebo an enjoyable and thought-provoking film. There's a reason why Christine's job focuses on exploiting children, and Felix is a marketing strategist who only sees people in terms of their financial value.

The deteriorating relationship between Christine and Diana is Nocebo's primary source of conflict. Some interesting aspects of this story arise from Christine's gullible and superstitious nature. Finnegan employs some effective recurring symbols throughout the story, which only become more ominous and unsettling for the characters involved. Christine and Diana have a complex, constantly changing relationship that often leads to difficult situations. Eva Green's final performance in Nocebo's last act is compelling and worth watching. Nocebo is a film that balances intense melodrama with wry humor, derived mainly from Christine's family life before Diane's complete indoctrination.

Nocebo is a visually stunning film that will leave viewers feeling disoriented and unnerved. Finnegan's previous films, Without Name and Vivarium, are visually arresting, and Nocebo is no different. The film's final act is exceptionally chaotic and unsettling as Christine's mental state deteriorates. Finnegan's innovative visuals are usually the primary selling point for his stories, so it's heartening to see the director trying new techniques here rather than relying purely on what's worked in the past. Additionally, Jose Antonio Buencamino's percussive score often does a great job of accentuating the mounting dread throughout the movie. This music has a primal, tribal quality that feels otherworldly and fits with Nocebo's themes of mysticism and the unknown.

Worth Watching? 

Nocebo is a film that looks at the dark side of capitalism and how it can create monsters. The film has a strong visual style and a horrific finale that ties everything together. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that more is always better, but sometimes a little restraint can go a long way. In the case of Nocebo, it often comes across as heavy-handed with its grander ideas. It would be helpful if the story and script were given another pass to tighten things up, as plenty of compelling arguments in the movie are left a mystery and not overexplained. It can be argued that Nocebo's message is a bit too heavy-handed at times and that some cultural references fall flat. However, the film takes risks and highlights some interesting aspects of human nature. The final image is particularly chilling and makes a strong statement.

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