The Hypnotic Eye

Watch The Hypnotic Eye

"BEWARE HIS HYPNOTIC POWER that turns human flesh into helpless robots!"
  • Approved
  • 1960
  • 1 hr 19 min
  • 5.8  (886)

The Hypnotic Eye is a 1960 horror film directed by George Blair and starring Jacques Bergerac, Merry Anders, and Marcia Henderson. The movie's premise revolves around a series of violent crimes that appear to be connected to a hypnotist's stage show. The movie was released during the height of the fascination with hypnosis and psychoanalysis in popular culture, and the film plays on these themes to create an eerie and suspenseful atmosphere.

The movie begins with a stage show where charismatic hypnotist Desmond uses his powers to entertain a live audience. The show prompts the viewers to question whether hypnosis could be used as a tool for evil, as well as whether hypnotists themselves have a degree of control over their subjects. But this initial curiosity soon takes a dark turn when several of the people who attended the show start going blind soon after, all victims of a vicious acid attack. As the number of attacks rises, the police are left baffled, and they begin a manhunt to find the assailant or the people responsible.

The main character of the film is the young and beautiful Jeanette Moreneau (played by Merry Anders), who is Desmond's assistant. Jeanette is struck by the first act of violence, where a woman who attended Desmond's show is disfigured with acid. This prompts her to investigate the matter further and discover the true nature of Desmond's hypnotic abilities. Along with her boyfriend, Lt. Dave Kennedy (played by Jacques Bergerac), Jeanette begins to realize that deep within Desmond's hypnotic abilities lies something much more sinister than either of them had initially thought.

As Jeanette progresses further into the investigation, the audience is treated to a series of terrifying events. The climax of the film is set against the backdrop of a nightmarish carnival scene. The story reaches its crescendo here, and the tension builds as the primary antagonist's identity is revealed. Perhaps the most frightening aspect of the movie is the psychological impact it leaves on the viewer. The characters' fight not only translates into a physical battle, but also a mental and emotional one. The theme of control running throughout the movie is a reminder of both the power that those in authority have over others and the limits of our own ability to resist manipulation.

The Hypnotic Eye's direction and pacing are excellent. Although it's almost 60 years old, the film's black and white visuals are stylish, offering a creepy and eerie tone throughout. Blair's ability to generate suspense and tension is evident throughout the picture, with a sense of unease permeating every scene. As Jeanette delves deeper into the investigation, the tension is cranked up until the carnival sequence, which is especially tense and is the perfect finale for a movie that spent most of its runtime treading a fine line between psychological thriller and horror flick.

In terms of performances, Merry Anders shines as Jeanette, in charge of the majority of the lines and screentime. Her ability to evoke terror and determination is well-played, and she handles the more emotional scenes with equal aplomb. Jacques Bergerac's Lt. Dave Kennedy brings a grounded, reliable presence to the investigative portions of the film. However, Marcia Henderson (who plays Dave's sister, Dodie) feels wasted having little to do.

The hypnotic Eye's score is forbidding, and the emphasis on an organ in the music provides a suitably menacing score that works well alongside the film’s unsettling mood.

In conclusion, The Hypnotic Eye is a must-see for fans of horror who enjoy psychological drama. While the film never quite veers completely into outright horror, it is a tense and eerie psychological thriller that masterfully uses meditative silence, effective visual composition, and suspenseful pacing to set the audience on edge. The iconic carnival ending is especially memorable, and the performances by Merry Anders and Jacques Bergerac hold your interest throughout. This film is an essential watch for anyone interested in the horror genre.

The Hypnotic Eye is a 1960 horror movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 19 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.8.

The Hypnotic Eye
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The Hypnotic Eye is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Hypnotic Eye for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 19 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.8  (886)