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NOCEBO (2022, IRS) – 6/10

Christine (Eva Green) is a fashion designer whose life seems perfect at first. Her husband Felix (Mark Strong) is a successful marketing consultant, they also have a daughter, but one day Christine will mysteriously fall ill. No one knows what’s wrong with her, and Christine is getting worse and worse. She loses her memory, experiences hallucinations, and the already mysterious and confused situation will further intensify when the Filipina Diana appears at the door of her house. She claims that she agreed with Christine that she will move in with them and be her housekeeper until she recovers, and at the same time, Diana seems to be trying to treat Christine from a mysterious trauma with the help of traditional Filipino healing, which increasingly looks like some kind of voodoo magic. .

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But even before the screenwriter-director duo Garret Shanley – Lorcan Finnegan (however better previous films Without Name and Vivarium) throw their cards on the table, the arrival of a woman from the Philippines does not seem completely accidental. And that’s not only because the Philippine Film Fund co-financed this Irish production, but also because the Philippines is one of those places in the East where, under no conditions and for a handful of rice a day, in primitive factories, everything created by all those virtuous fashionistas is produced designers from the west. Of course, by the end, the horrifying truth will be revealed, as the short description of this nevertheless disappointing horror – psychological drama suggests, but it was quite thin.

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And the previous two films of this automotive duo were quite mindfuck – psychedelic, confusing combinations of psychodrama and horror, but “Nocebo” is still a step backwards. They seem to have found role models in Roman Polanski’s “Rosemary’s Baby” or even more so in his “Repulsion” with Catherine Deneuve, and in Diana’s occasional flashbacks we find out what happened on the other side of the globe that led Christine to that strange situation in Ireland. It’s a film that tries to somehow play on some kind of collective remorse of the West that prospers on the backs of the subsidized third world, but it’s performed quite poorly and even Eva Green, who was welcomed to the screen in a standard way, couldn’t pull it out of mediocrity.