Close Your Eyes (Doctor Sleep) (2002)
A hypnotist with psychic talents is drawn into a criminal case with bizarre implications in this thriller from Great Britain. Dr. Michael Strother (Goran Visnjic) is a psychologist and hypnotherapist who has relocated from the United States to England after an ugly incident in which a boy under Strother's care died while swimming, possibly due to a mistakenly triggered hypnotic suggestion. Strother sometimes sees visions which he believes are images from the minds of his patients, and while hypnotizing Janet Losey (Shirley Henderson), a police detective who is trying to give up cigarettes, he sees a terrifying vision of a girl trapped beneath the surface of a stream. Strother learns that the girl in his vision is Heather, a teenager who has recently disappeared; when found, she's disoriented, unable to speak, and has strange new tattoos on her arms. Despite the pleas of his wife Clara (Miranda Otto) to keep his distance, Strother becomes involved in the case, and with the help of Elliot (Paddy Considine), a dealer in fantasy games, he learns that the bizarre gibberish Heather has been spouting are part of the rituals of an outmoded religious rite. As Strother and Losey dig deeper into the bizarre crime, they're led into a twisted web of intrigue, violence, and religious fanaticism. Hypnotic was adapted from the Madison Smartt Bell novel Doctor Sleep, which was also the film's working title. … More
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Critic Reviews for Close Your Eyes (Doctor Sleep)
The atmospheric psychological thriller weaves a compelling web thanks to dense, stylized direction by Nick Willing and a smartly assembled cast.
On their way to confront ancient evil, Strother and Losey keep tripping over timeworn cliches.
If you can overlook its TV-episode look, occasional lapses in logic and detours into lurid overkill, this old-school psychological thriller, which marries a tracking-the- serial-killer narrative with occult themes, is a creepy diversion.
May be the worst-directed movie exported by England in this young century.
Its solid horror pedigree is all the more enjoyable because it comes as such a surprise -- forgotten in a dusty corner and just waiting for the right fan to find it.
Visnjic proves he can conceivably carry a movie if given a chance. But he still needs to find one worth his time.
I'm not sure what attracted such a strong cast to take part in such nonsense, although I wouldn't be surprised if a gently swaying pocket watch was involved.
A European-flavored thriller of manufactured morbidity that starts strong but becomes just another ridiculous potboiler mystery wrapped in the guise of the occult and arcane.
This hypno-thriller is a better story than most horror films... but it builds to this big showdown, which turns out to be a letdown.
Requires an insupportable suspension of disbelief to swallow its convoluted and absurd scenario...still, it's made with a seriousness that's oddly refreshing.
For a film that took three years to be released, [it] is a surprise, a creepy and disturbing psychological thriller which features a number of effective scares.
Amusingly messy. This playful pastiche could also be called Don't Look Now at the Silence of the Sixth Dead Dunwitch Zone, Psycho!
...a hazy and hypnotic surge that more often than not resonates as an atmospheric chiller...this head-tampering frightfest is notably staggering
The protagonist's subjection to archaic instruments of torture is totally pointless plot-wise, except for perhaps the inherent fear factor.
Those who like atmospheric thrillers that feature pentagrams and second sight and mysterious incantations from ancient texts will enjoy guaranteed goosebumps.
Ultimately commits the cardinal sin of never being very frightening.
Audience Reviews for Close Your Eyes (Doctor Sleep)
A cheap and pretty crappy British occult thriller about a psychic hypnotherapist helping the police to catch a serial killer of little girls. I must have missed the ritual significance of the girls to the killer's design in amongst all the arcane gibberish spouted, but I can't say my attention was especially rapt; something about blood transfusion and eternal life, I think. The acting varies from so-so to dreadful, with Shirley Henderson especially weak and even the often excellent Paddy Considine failing to register. The photography is very drab, but its general realism is consistently undercut by glaring, mediocre, digitally-manipulated backdrops.More
[font=Century Gothic][color=sienna]"Close Your Eyes" starts out with a young girl being pursued. She escapes by jumping off a bridge into a river. A policewoman(Shirley Henderson) blackmails Dr. Michael Strother(Goran Visnjic) who has miraculously gotten her to stop smoking into helping with the now silent child.(It's never resolved whether Strother is a master hypnotist or a psychic. It is clear that Strother is hiding something but it is not really relevant.) Their investigation leads to some dark and disturbing places.[/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=#a0522d]"Close Your Eyes" is an ineffective thriller where nothing much happens for most of the movie, except for some unpleasant business with a rat. The movie tries to coast along on atmosphere alone. It does tend to telegraph its punches, too. Even worse, because the characterizations are weak, it is very hard to care about any of the characters. It is a shame because a very good cast - Shirley Henderson, Goran Visnjic, Paddy Considine, Miranda Otto, Fiona Shaw and Corin Redgrave - is wasted. [/color][/font]
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