The Hypnotist (3 stars)

*4the Hypnotist

A small-scale, intimate, Nordic noir thriller from director Lasse Hallström


After a series of mawkishly sentimental films for the British and American market (What's Eating Gilbert Grape, The Cider House Rules and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) Swedish director Lasse Hallström takes a sideways step into Nordic noir. Based on a book by Lars Kepler The Hypnotist is a small-scale intimate thriller which opens with a frenzied knife attack on a PE teacher. Teenage witness Josef (Jonatan Bökman) is left struggling for life. Drawing a blank, the police turn to a psychologist (Mikael Persbrandt) to uncover the repressed secrets locked within Josef’s semi-comatose brain.

If you miss The Killing and are craving more Scandi-crime drama The Hypnotist will just about scratch that itch. It conforms to the genre's heavy shadows and blue colour palette; the unusual murders; the moody police detective (Tobias Zilliacus) and several red herrings. However, the police are narrow-minded and don't even consider several lines of enquiry that are achingly obvious to the viewer. Dark and brooding, there’s an intriguing mystery buried amongst the clichés and plot holes.

OFFICIAL INTERNATIONAL TRAILER - The Hypnotist - by Lasse Hallström

The Hypnotist (Hypnotisören)

  • 3 stars
  • 2012
  • Sweden
  • 2h 2min
  • Directed by: Lasse Hallström
  • Cast: Tobias Zilliacus, Mikael Persbrandt, Lena Olin

After a killer murders most members of a family, a detective employs a psychiatrist to hypnotise the surviving son to find his only surviving sister in a race against the killer.

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