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INTERVIEW: Director Lorcan Finnegan Talks ‘Nocebo’ Inspiration

Eva Green in Nocebo

Nocebo truly is a movie that will leave you questioning not only elements about yourself but whether anything you know is true. Reminiscent of the actuality of the nocebo effect, which is centered around negative thinking, the film brings us the story of a woman named Christine who is struggling with her health after being bitten by an animal.

Her memory is fading and she has good days and bad but, for the most part, she’s seemingly unaware of her own life and where she is. So when a woman comes to her home named Diana (Chai Fonacier) saying that she was there to help her, it works simply because Christine (Green) is continually unsure of what is and isn’t happening in her life.

The film is described as “A fashion designer suffers from a mysterious illness that confounds her doctors and frustrates her husband. Help arrives in the form of a Filipino nanny who uses traditional folk healing to reveal a horrifying truth.” And that’s pretty apt for what we get.

Director Lorcan Finnegan sat down with me to talk about his inspiration behind the film and where the journey took him in creating Nocebo. “The themes we were trying to explore were really about human exploitation and the relationship between that and colonialism, capitalism, and shamanism, basically,” he said. “When we started developing the story, it was really an organic process of research that then built the structure of where we were trying to get to at the end. I don’t know if it’s a twist, I guess it’s a bit twisty, but I don’t think of it as a twist but as a slow reveal,” he said to my question about what I would consider a “twist” at the end for why Diana is there to help Christine “heal”.

Overall, the movie will leave you thinking about its themes long after you’ve left and it is hard to breakdown Nocebo without fully getting into everything that happens in the film so once you’ve seen it, come back to see the rest of mine and Finnegan’s conversation!

You can see our full interview here:

Nocebo is in theaters now and will be available On Digital and On Demand November 22. The movie is one movie that will leave you with so many question and honestly, that’s a great thing.

(image: Shudder)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.