Nocebo Film Review: Irish director Lorcan Finnegan has crafted a rare piece of work — a horror film with a brain

Nocebo (16.97 minutes)

va Green has always been one of cinema’s most eloquent sufferers and she has accomplished so much in Nocebothird film from Irish director Lorcan Finnegan.

A stressed fashion designer on the verge of big things, Christine (Green) was presenting her new children’s line to a big buyer when she was stricken with a large and looking dog. like a madman approached.

It might have been an illusion, but while she stared with bulging eyes in horror, the scabies mutts shook herself in slow motion, sending scales and scales and God knows something else was flying: a living creature. The large, flea-like object then entered Christine’s neck.

A few months later, we discover that Christine’s life has been transformed by a debilitating and mysterious illness. Fever sweats, extreme lethargy and recurrent visions have severely affected her career and put a strain on her marriage.

She lives in a large town house (Dublin’s Palmerston Park, representing an affluent corner of London) with her husband Felix (Mark Strong) and young daughter Bobs (Billie Gadsdon), and Felix apparently was very upset by the sudden decline of his wife.

Since you asked, ‘nocebo’ is a condition where the effectiveness of a treatment is affected by the skepticism of the patient: Christine is taking a lot of medication to treat her illness, but it seems all these what they do will only make her worse. But everything changes when Diana (Chai Fonacier) appears.

Christine is confused when the small but formidable Filipina woman appears on her doorstep, insisting that it was Christine who hired her as a nanny. Could I have done this, she wondered, and then forgot?

But Diana immediately started getting busy, and although she might not sing like Mary Poppins, she quickly became an integral part of the family, cooking delicious meals, forming relationships with Bob is suspicious at first and quickly improves Christine’s health through the use of folk remedies. .

Felix is ​​extremely skeptical — his only role in this movie — and as Christine begins to get better, he doesn’t believe that massage, steam, and herbal therapy have brought about the miraculous change. this.

In Diana’s attic, Felix finds a shrine in the fireplace, with candles, incense and a picture of a little girl. What the hell is going on, he wondered.

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Are you wondering if you really care about Green’s character?

Lorcan Finnegan has impressed many people with his film debut No namea film set in a strange forest with influences from Ben Wheatley and British horror films of the 1970s.

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And while his second film, biology garden, somewhat disappointingly, it shows commendable ambition. Garret Shanley was his scripting partner on those two films and this one. In Nocebothey’ve produced a rare, comparable movie — a horror movie with a brain.

Christine and Felix are not nasty people, just your ordinary right-wing bourgeois couple, whose expectations of comfort and affluence have blinded them to broad geopolitical issues. bigger.

Christine’s ‘fast fashion’ lines are reasonably priced, but must have been made somewhere: she knows the exact place and even makes jokes about her “little maids”. Perhaps her health problems and mental breakdown had something to do with a bad conscience, but whatever it was, Diana would brush it off.

There are so many great ideas floating around Nocebofrom global sins to middle-class complacency, but this is also a thriller and one that is stylishly presented there.

With a decent budget to allow shooting in the Philippines, Finnegan glides between Christine’s present and Diana’s past, providing the maid with a coherent and believable story.

Green’s Christine is a worrier who staggers from disaster to disaster, but we’ve never really looked beyond the pain to find out if she’s worth caring about. And there are leaps in the plot that test viewers’ patience.

But there is much to admire in Nocebo and overall, Finnegan balances the thrilling and supernatural aspects with great skill, and his direction has bright sparks.

Rating: Four stars

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It’s hard to root for Del Toro’s Pinocchio

Pinocchio (Netflix, 117 minutes)

Cold as Winter, Impressively Done, by Guillermo del Toro Pinocchio is the latest in a series of adaptations of Carlo Collodi’s classic children’s novels and certainly the darkest.

Del Toro’s stop-motion animation moved the action from 1880s Tuscany to 1930s Tuscany, as conspiring fascism made the banal puppet’s journey towards the intellect all the more vibrant.

Created by Geppetto (voiced by David Bradley), a carpenter heartbroken over the death of his biological son, Pinocchio (Gregory Mann) is resurrected by a mysterious spirit and immediately begins to run into trouble. tangled.

Disinterested in school, he runs away with a carnival ring operator named Count Volpe (Christoph Waltz), and is later caught up in a brawl with Mussolini’s bully boys.

His conscience, Cricket (Ewan McGregor), is such a pompous little windbreaker that I applaud his occasional bouts, but not too fond of the weird songs that interrupt the story.

The movie’s brutality fits Collodi’s story, but Del Toro’s Pinocchio is hard to root and I’m not sure who this movie is aimed at. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Rating: Three stars

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Ghosts Of Baggotonia is well photographed

The Phantom of Baggotonia (12A, 80 minutes)

Less a documentary than an art fever dream, by Alan Gilsenan ghost of baggotonia combines the director’s own childhood memories with stories of the underground cultural scene that existed along Baggot Street in the 1950s.

Gilsenan grew up on Raglan Road, tributed to a song by Patrick Kavanagh, and the spirit of the poet dominates this fanciful film, standing on the shoulders of other artists and writers gathered in postwar Dublin 2.

Through archival footage and recorded recollections of witnesses like theater director Alan Simpson and artist John Ryan, Gilsenan recalls echoes of the legendary period when Kavanagh, Brendan Behan, Flann O’Brien , JP Donleavy, Patrick Swift, Lucian Freud and others revel in their way through legendary nights in the area’s pubs.

More poignantly, he uses Neville Johnson’s photographs to show how the area has changed. Beautifully photographed by Gilsenan, ghost of baggotonia elegantly tracing the shadows of the past.

Rating: Four stars

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/movie-reviews/nocebo-movie-review-irish-director-lorcan-finnegan-has-produced-a-comparative-rarity-a-horror-film-with-a-brain-42206385.html Nocebo Film Review: Irish director Lorcan Finnegan has crafted a rare piece of work — a horror film with a brain

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