Hypnotic: What is a hypnotic in Ben Affleck movie?

Daisy Phillipson
Ben Affleck in Hypnotic

Robert Rodriguez has made his cinematic return with Hypnotic, a mind-bending thriller starring Ben Affleck – now the movie’s out in cinemas, you might be wondering: what is a “hypnotic”? We’ve got the answer. 

Though it might not be Rodriguez’s best work, Hypnotic is anything but boring. While a few too many twists leave the film feeling a little convoluted, it’s built on a unique premise, and there are some great performances from Alice Braga and William Fichtner.

Notably, Hypnotic doesn’t feel much like a Rodriguez movie, and instead can be likened to a number of Christopher Nolan flicks, albeit not at the same cinematic level. Nonetheless, it’s an entertaining watch, one best enjoyed with a huge bucket of popcorn. 

Amid Hypnotic’s theatrical release, Dexerto spoke with Rodriguez himself, who explained what a hypnotic is. 

What is a hypnotic?

Though most people might think of chaise longues and swinging watches, hypnotics are a far cry from the hypnosis techniques used today. In the movie, they are people born with psychic superpowers, ones that can be cultivated in order to control a person’s every move using a simple stare and a few words. 

William Fichtner in Hypnotic
William Fichtner plays hypnotic Dellrayne

In an exclusive interview with Dexerto, Rodriguez explained how he came up with the concept. “If the person is called a hypnotic, it means that they have an ability beyond hypnosis,” he said. 

“I thought that’s a cool villain: I meet you and I introduce myself, I shake your hand, and I say, ‘Hey, give me your wallet and give me your this and that.’ And you say, ‘Yeah, okay, sure.’ [Then I say] ‘Give me your bank information, and where’s your car? Okay, I’ll take your keys.’

“Then I leave and you don’t even remember meeting me. That’s a cool character. And it’s not even that I’m hypnotizing you, it’s just I have an ability beyond that. 

“People know what hypnosis is but they don’t know what a hypnotic is, so as the movie goes, we keep adding abilities to them that are way beyond what you’re expecting.”

Has Rodriguez and the Hypnotic cast ever been hypnotized?

Although a hypnotic’s abilities are totally different to hypnosis, Dexerto took the opportunity to ask if Rodriguez, Braga, and Fichtner had ever been hypnotized themselves. 

In response, Rodriguez said, “I’ve never been hypnotized… that I know of.” Meanwhile, Braga – who plays Diana Cruz in the movie – explained that while she hasn’t, she “deeply believes” in it. 

“And I learned, and also through Robert, that a lot of people treat a lot of diseases and sometimes traumas with hypnosis,” she said. “I ended up not getting hypnotized myself, but I’m curious about it… I think I will do it one day.”

Similarly, Fichtner – who plays Hypnotic’s antagonist Dellrayne – never went under, although he does know people who have.

“I think it was back in the 80s where people getting hypnotized to quit smoking was a big thing,” he said. “That was like, you know, I knew a few people that did that. I never wanted to be hypnotized.”

As for whether it was effective or not, the actor explained: “Well, I heard that it had an effect on people but didn’t last. But, like I say, I don’t have any experience with it… it just never felt like any road that I ever wanted to go down.”

Hypnotic dropped in US cinemas on May 12, 2023, with a UK theatrical release set for May 26, 2023. You can read our review for it here, and check out our other TV and movie hubs below:

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About The Author

Daisy is a Senior TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's a lover of all things macabre, whether that be horror, crime, psychological thrillers or all of the above. After graduating with a Masters in Magazine Journalism, she's gone on to write for Digital Spy, LADbible and Little White Lies. You can contact her on daisy.phillipson@dexerto.com