The work of the American director of Greek origin Dennis Iliadis “Hysteria” is a horror film that was released in 2018. The film touches on one of the most terrible problems that any person can face – the problem of insanity. How to keep your sanity when you return to the trigger point from the hospital for the mentally ill? Can the horrors that come to life in a person’s imagination really gain power over his life?
The meaning of the film “Hysteria”
The main character, Tom Walker, being imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital, becomes the heir to the mansion left to him by his late father, who committed suicide. On strict conditions (the hero must report via video link to the hospital staff for a month) Tom is released to the mansion. However, even such conditions do not suit Brody, a parole officer: she fears that a man can repeat the crime he committed: before being admitted to the hospital, Tom, along with his brother Alex, attacked a woman. Despite the protest, the man gets freedom and settles in a rich mansion.
Soon, Tom begins to be haunted by nightmares: more and more often he hears the voice of his deceased father, and the frightening sounds of a revived house drive the hero crazy. The situation spirals out of control when creepy calls start coming to Tom’s house from a stranger with a distorted voice.
The man’s condition is deteriorating day by day. While swimming in the pool, Tom suddenly has a very realistic vision: he watches a young girl drowning next to him. Frightened, Tom begins to frantically search for the causes of what happened and accidentally finds a secret passage in the office of the deceased father, leading to a room from which you can monitor all exits from the mansion.
The only relief in this ongoing race for answers that can shed light on the mystery of the mansion is the arrival of a young and charming girl, Lynn, who delivers food to Tom and is always ready to help him. In addition to Lynn, Tom is also visited by officer Brody, who also shows interest in the ward as a man. An attempt to kiss Tom is rejected by him and the offended woman, after a short struggle with the man, deliberately steals his pills, which allow him to maintain a relatively sane state of the patient.
But Tom’s troubles do not end there either: he soon discovers traces of the presence of another person in the house and stumbles upon his older brother. At first, Tom takes Alex for a hallucination, but he declares that he escaped from prison, where he was imprisoned for a crime committed with his brother, and threatens to destroy the whole house if Tom does not give him the money left by his late father.
The next day, Tom asks the newly arrived Lynn to bring him more medicine stolen by the officer. The man shares the details of his past life: Tom talks about a terrible crime against the girl who insulted him, which, however, was planned and carried out by his brother, Tom also acted as an unwitting witness, being forced to watch the brutal murder committed by Alex.
Deciding to delve into the memories of the past, Alex and Tom decide to watch a video left for them by their late father, in which the latter repents for putting career before family. The brothers fight again, after which Alex leaves the mansion.
Lynn, who came to Tom with medicines, assures him that she fully understands the situation and does not blame the man for anything. She shares her past, talking about the psychological trauma received during her school years. After the girl leaves, the hero becomes much easier, but he still sees things about which he cannot be sure whether they are real or just hallucinations.
The man accidentally discovers another secret passage, but he does not dare to explore it alone and goes after Lynn, whom he finds with a broken head. Trying to find help, Tom runs to Brody, who has come to return the stolen drugs. At the same moment, Tom’s brother joins the turmoil. A fight breaks out. Tom talks about the hatch he found. Soon Alex, who went to look at the secret passage, returns, saying that there is no bunker. He completely reconstructs the crime committed twenty years ago, trying to kill Lynn. However, the volume escapes and during the fight accidentally finds the same secret passage that he told his brother about. A more macabre find is an old mother chained to a wall inside a hidden bunker by the brothers’ insane father.
Alex, seeing his mother, begins to blackmail Tom, threatening to kill her if he does not give his father’s money. However, during the fight, he dies along with his mother. Tom and Lynn leave the spooky mansion together.
The meaning of the film’s ending
The saying “Fear has big eyes” in this film takes on a special charm. The one who appears to be a monster is a blood relative. The disease turns out to be a skillfully staged performance, the reality of which is difficult to doubt. But is it not this hopelessness and defenselessness in the face of external circumstances that is commonly called an embodied nightmare?
However, only by living through fear, you can defeat it and get rid of the terrible past.