Eva Green, a sick fashion designer who receives a terrifying cure in ‘Nocebo’

The Irish Lorcan Finnegan has been setting up a most disturbing universe in a short time. He began in genre cinema a decade ago with the short film Foxesfollowed by his debut in the feature without nameabout a land supervisor who discovers a dark secret in the forest and in 2019 drew attention at the Sitges Festival with vivariumwith Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg as a couple buying their first home and being led by a strange sales agent to a mysterious housing estate from which they can’t escape.

This Friday, already in the final stretch of the contest, the director has presented Nocebo, another claustrophobic film that delves into the relationship of family and servants, at the same time that it serves as social criticism, with a most original story of which the Extraordinary performances by French Eva Green and Philippine actress Chai Fonacier.

Green wears an oxygen respirator to sleep

Green wears an oxygen mask to sleep

Lovely Productions

The film, which premiered in Europe today in Sitges and is the first Irish-Philippines co-production, is a nightmare that mixes Southeast Asian ghost stories with intruders breaking into houses in the style of the nanny of Rebecca Demornay in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.

Here, the former Bond girl Green has a hard time playing Christine, a children’s fashion designer who lives in a mansion with her husband Félix (Mark Strong) and their young daughter. During a fashion show someone calls her cell phone insistently and when she answers she receives news that upsets her. But it will not be the only thing that disturbs her at that moment because before her eyes appears an old flea-ridden dog that begins to shake off her and one of her ticks ends up directly on the protagonist’s back.

Green’s character suffers from hallucinations, headaches and tremors

Eight months later, Christine sleeps on a respirator and suffers from panic attacks, hallucinations, and tremors. She tries to return to the job market by putting on random red shoes that should bring her luck, although things are not going to turn out as she expected. One day Diana, a Filipino woman who says she has been hired by her, knocks on her door, but Christine does not remember her. She has memory problems and a lot of headache.

Philippine actress Chai Fonacier

Philippine actress Chai Fonacier

Lovely Productions

Neither the girl nor the husband welcome the maid. Diana tries to be kind and cooks succulent stews for them and helps Christine calm her discomfort. It will not take long for her to gain her trust and she will end up revealing that she is the owner of a magical power with which she can cure her disease. And for this she must penetrate inside her as the only possible remedy to find the origin of the evil. Parasites don’t walk very far.


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Finnegan knows how to attract the viewer’s attention in a manipulation game that leads us to witness the assistant’s past and learn the real reason for her mission. The film is not only a good example of a horror film with the most tense and nightmarish scenes -the giant tick that approaches Christine in a dream- its best asset lies in a context of labor exploitation that will make more than one blush textile business.

Still from 'Nocebo'

Still from ‘Nocebo’

Lovely Productions

nocebo It is a pleasant surprise that it could well sneak into the list of winners of this 55th edition with the recognition of both Finnegan’s direction and that of its main actresses.

Both Green and Filipino actress Chai Fonacier are fantastic in their roles.

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