NOCTURNE (2020) – A Blumhouse gem that is not to be missed


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

This fourth and final entry in Blumhouse’s limited anthology series, Welcome to the Blumhouse, also happens to be its best. By now, we have our expectations well position not to expect any gore fest or fantastical horror in the series. So far all its entries have been mild on the gore and heavy on the psychological suspense department. Nocturne has the most intriguing premise of all so far. It tells the story about twin sisters rivalry over their piano playing talents set against a macabre backdrop of an unseen evil force. The title “Nocturne” is in reference to its theme surrounding the piano playing that is featured, as it typically refers to a short piano composition of a romantic nature. 

Sydney Sweeney may be a familiar face for TV viewers as she has appeared in several series such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Sharp Objects, but not really a big name. Her portrayal of the jealous twin here, Juliet,  is  convincing and strong, exhibiting a range of sensibility through her facial and body language. She is also very convincing when playing some astoundingly powerful piano pieces. I suspect Sydney could be an actress to look out for in the future. Madison Iseman who plays her more successful twin sister, Vivian, has a more conventional character to play as the playful and more bitchy sister. The story unfolds in a good pace as we are introduced to the sisters, and the growing rivalry within Juliet. Once again, as with many of such tales, we can more or less foretell the inevitable conclusion, but it is the delivery of this that is masterfully done. Sound and music is very effective used here which adds to the sense of involvement to what’s happening on the screen. I am particularly impressed with the stirring music pieces played which really comes across as something stunning to listen to. The story and context of Nocturne is strong enough to stand on its own even without the macabre elements as what Juliet feels and struggles with here is very much something that can occur in everyday situations. And to the film’s credit it even has time to inject some debate over the state of classical music popularity today under the challenge of the fast paced and social networking crazed society today, in between the dram unfolding. 

So there you have it, Blumhouse’s best entry to their rather limited four movies anthology series. I am looking forward to more similar fare from Blumhouse in the future.

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