This week sees the release of Danny Boyle's mesmerizing, mind-bending thriller Trance (review here), which deals with the tricky world of hypnosis. In light of this, set back, take a deep breath, listen to our voices, and read the following article on our five favourite hypnotic movies...
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA
As this movie is a bit all over the place at the best of times, featuring Kurt Russell at his most 80's-tastic, we don't even blink an eye when the big bad guy decides to hypnotise Russell's girlfriend Kim Cattrall and some other chick by shining a big white light out of his eyes and into there's. From that point on, they're completely decked out on OTT make-up and completely under his control. The fiend!
THE JUNGLE BOOK
Remember when Mowgli was all on his own, and that bad snake Kaa hypnotises the man-cub with his wonky blue and yellow eyes, before wrapping his long snake body around him, singing his creepy song the whole time. That whole scene was super weird when you think about it, and that's before Kaa tries to swallow him whole!
THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE
Kind of crossing the line between hypnotising and brainwashing, but for the sake of this list let's not get too pedantic. Denzel Washington discovers that some of his old army buddies were kidnapped and warped into becoming brainless assassins. The scene were Presidential-wannabe Liev Schriber is fed his trigger words over the phone as his mother waits on the other line is completely skin-crawling.
One long revenge movie that makes Taken look like Baby's Day Out, when the final pieces fall into place, and you realise what the hypnosis is being used for, this movie goes from "Kinda dark" to "The darkest movie I've ever seen". We won't spoil the surprise for you here, but let's just say that once all is revealed, you may want some hypnosis yourself to help you get over it.
STIR OF ECHOES
Kevin Bacon is your average Joe blue collar worker who, as a larf, gets put under hypnosis by his wife's friend. But it turns out that he may have been put under before, and this jokey session may have unleashed a lot of repressed memories. Or are they? This movie was released around the same time as the attention grabbing The Sixth Sense, but it's a real shame that they share some similar themes, as Stir Of Echoes is actually a much better movie.