Hypochondriac is an intense exploration of trauma and abuse that has a few twists and turns, but is predictable for the most part.
Hypochondriac is a suspenseful thriller that has some incredibly intense moments and a decent story, however it is not without its flaws. It brushes up against the line of body horror a few times, but never quite crosses it, which is a downfall for this critic, but will likely be appreciated by others. When it comes to the blood and gore, we get just enough, and as for the lead performance by Zach Villa — it is truly incredible.
This movie follows a young man named Will whose mother tried to kill him when he was a boy. This has caused some trauma, which is to be expected, that he is dealing with as the story goes on. He begins to have physical ailments and when his mom comes back out of the blue, it digs up emotions that he clearly never dealt with. The underlying message of facing your traumas and not allowing them to take control of you is clear here, and is what makes the film so enjoyable.
Will is not only dealing with this PTSD, but it also becomes apparent that he has a mental disorder. Trying to bury these thoughts and feelings makes for interesting plot as things just get worse and worse for him, but was obviously not the right thing for him to do.
He sees a wolf that follows him around and sometimes speaks to him — which will give Donnie Darko fans a lot of deja vu. Depending on the mood, the wolf has a different look, but is always slightly terrifying. Easily one of the coolest parts of Hypochondriac, the outcome with this animal is the biggest and most unpredictable twist of the entire film.
As for the rest of the plot though, it is a bit too easy to see where it is going. The good thing is that the ride is a whole lot of fun. Yes, there are some moments that viewers will cringe over a bizarre choice in dialogue, but there are also moments where they will cringe (in a good way) because of the horrific things happening on screen.
Hypochondriac is terrifying at times, and intense most of the time. It is one of those films that will even have viewers second guessing what is actually playing out before them, and if they are going a little bit crazy. Will is likeable enough, but it is hard to relate to him at times because of how delusional he becomes.
There are a few times the movie veers off course, however it luckily always finds it way back fairly quickly. The biggest problem is a few scenes that go on just a hair too long. Still, this movie is a whole lot of fun, and one of the best to come out of the Fantasia Film Festival 2022. Creepy and horrific, this is a must watch for fans of the horror genre.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Will, a young Hispanic gay potter, is one gregarious guy. His boss is terrible, but he’s got a great boyfriend and a great job. Unfortunately, behind that veneer is a dark past of violence and mental illness that he is desperate to keep hidden.
When his bipolar mother comes out of the woodwork after ten years of silence, he begins exhibiting unexplainable symptoms and spirals into an obsession, determined to solve this mystery of his own.
Hypochondriac played at Fantasia 2022 and hits theaters on July 29th.
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.