By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
The latest movie offering from Jason Blum’s Welcome to The Blumhouse series is “Nocturne”
written and directed by Zu Quirke
in her breakout feature debut.
“Nocturne” is a suspenseful psychological thriller Starring Sydney Sweeney (“Euphoria” and “The Handmaid’s Tale”) and Madison Iseman (“Jumanji: The Next Level,” “Annabelle Comes Home”) as twin sisters who are incredibly gifted piano players.
Naturally, their mother Cassie (Julie Benz, TV’s “On Becoming a God in Central Florida”) and her father David (Brandon Keener, “Hustlers”) are extremely proud of them.
Juliet (Sweeney) and Vivian (Iseman) have always been close and shared the same friends and interests at the elite Lindberg Arts Academy they attend.
That changes when Vivian starts to garner more attention for her musical talents, notably from her teachers Rodger (John Rothman, TV’s “Bull” and Dr. Cask (Ivan Shaw, TV’s “Insecure” and “Casual”).
Juliet is also jealous of Vivian’s sexy boyfriend Max (Jacques Colimon, TV’s “Into the Dark”) and she’s mad that the academy chose Vivian to perform Camille Saint-Saëns’ famous Piano Concerto No. 2 at their annual showcase. Things get even chilly between them when Vivian gets accepted into Julliard.
Every kid at this school feels some sort of pressure by their family to be the absolute best and make a name for themselves in the classical music world. The pressure is enormous. That may explain why one of the academy’s top violinists Moira Wilson (Ji Eun Hwang) killed herself by jumping out of the academy’s third floor window.
Then again, there may have been something else sinister at play here.
Answers to why Moira committed suicide slowly begin to emerge when Juliet finds an old notebook she left behind. It’s filled with graphic satanic pictures, codes, and words. Before long Juliet has developed some supernatural powers that somehow enhance her piano playing abilities and then some bizarre things begin to happen to Vivian.
Something has taken hold of Juliet and even the department chair (JoNell Kennedy, TV’s “All Things Undone”) has noticed.
Juliet wants that spotlight and believes she’s as good if not better than her sister. Dr. Cask tells her music is a blood sport and if she really wants to shine, she shouldn’t let anything get in her way. However, her other teacher (John Rothman) really cuts her down to size and tells her that she’s not as talented as Vivian and at the rate she’s going she will be the world’s first virtuoso burger flipper. Juliet gets revenge on him.
I won’t reveal how or why Moira Wilson’s ghostly spirit and past manifests itself through Juliet. I will say that although “Nocturne” is a rather bizarre movie it still had me fully locked in right up until the very end. That ending left me wanting more. Maybe Jason Blum has another chapter left to write on this one. Let’s hope.
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Watch This Trailer For "NOCTURNE"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.