The premise of Nocturne is one that will draw your interest although you’ll likely find it familiar. As someone who’s seen tons of movies, the familiarity wouldn’t be something that would bother me all that much as long as it’s done well and is an honest attempt at artistic creativity. I think the people behind this achieved that to some degree, but there’s much here that could have been improved upon.
Inside the halls of an elite arts academy, one student (Sydney Sweeney) struggles with her place as she attempts to achieve her dreams. To make matters worse, she finds herself constantly outshined by her twin sister (Madison Iseman). Things appear to have come to a halt for the young woman, but when she finds a mysterious notebook belonging to a recently deceased classmate, things begin to drastically change in a myriad of ways.
Although there are some interesting ideas and features here, much of what’s also included in Nocturne can only be described as difficult to watch. There are plenty of periods where I just felt bored by the tedious nature of it. This mainly shows itself during the times where they’re focusing on drama. During many of these scenes, it just feels as if there’s nothing going on.
Whenever we get away from this stuff, things improve quite a bit. During these instances, Nocturne manages to draw you in and makes you want to pay attention. These moments mostly occur when the supernatural elements of the film take center stage. I guess there were a few times where that blended in with some of the character development as well.
At first, when this stuff popped up, I got a little excited. I was expecting a shift in the film that would remain, but they were never able to keep that momentum going. After a while, things would turn back to normal and sink back to some of the more monotonous aspects that it relies on far too much.
Obviously, giving us more time with the supernatural stuff could have likely improved things. For some reason, they thought it was smart to only give us any of this in small doses. Maybe they felt that giving us more of this would have turned Nocturne into a horror film. And by the looks of this series so far, they mostly want to stay away from that to some degree.
Another problem that adding more of the supernatural may have presented would be that a significant portion of this is stuff that we’ve seen before. Expanding on this too much could have made it feel like we were completely going over familiar territory. Under the usual circumstances, I would normally see repetitiveness as being detrimental to my cinematic experience, but here, it’s different as I would rather have seen that than be unenthusiastic about what I actually ended up watching.
Ultimately, Nocturne is something that I think you’d be better off passing on. While familiarity with some of it may be an issue for many, the biggest problem with the film is its mundane drama and its inability to remain consistently engaging. The movie needed more time to be fleshed out in order for it to be a genuinely good movie. Because so much of it falls flat, it’s difficult to recommend it even if I appreciate some of what it tries to do.
Director: Zu Quirke
Screenwriter: Zu Quirke
Film Length: 90 minutes
Release Date: October 13, 2020
Distributor: Amazon Studios
- Score - 4/104/10