Liz Whittemore of Reel News Daily checks in from the psyche ward on HYPOCHONDRIAC
A young potter’s life devolves into chaos as he loses function of his body while being haunted by the physical manifestation of his childhood trauma.
Will has created a facade of mental wellness. As the past comes back to haunt him, can he keep himself together? Hypochondriac tells the story of a man unraveling and coming to terms with what hides inside.
Marlene Forte as Mom is a thing of manic beauty. If you want to talk about personality? Forte has it in spades. Zach Villa is a star. His wildly nuanced, fully fleshed-out performance as Will leaps off the screen. He will not be ignored.
The camera work is an entire entity. Editing wise, reflection, double vision, echoing of dialogue all build as the story progresses. These devices slowly place us into the mindset of Will, forcing us to question reality. There are bizarre and jarring references to films like Donnie Darko and Ghost. If you enjoy squirming, Hypochondriac‘s sound editing is a bonus.
Hypochondriac creatively addresses very real mental health issues. From stress to anxiety, unresolved trauma to potential schizophrenia, it is in this script. It also touches on gaslighting from both family members and medical professionals. Writer-director Addison Heimann brings SXSW22 audiences something unique and incredibly frightening.
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