A very intriguing concept and plot makes Black Circle a compelling viewing experience, but despite a great idea and some weird, creepy vibes, the movie struggles to maintain a sense of tension and terror.
A young woman finds an old LP record that has the power to hypnotize and transform its listeners … into something else.
Casual drug user and struggling-at-life young woman Celeste (Felice Jankel) comes across an obscure old LP record from the 1970s that suggests relaxation through hypnosis, and she puts it on before bedtime and is shocked that it literally commands her to do small things like lift her hand in the air against her will. As she falls asleep to it, she wakes up the next morning a little … different. She repeats the process a few days in a row and that’s when she realizes that she is in the process of being replaced by her double, which has manifested while she sleeps under the spell of the record. She seeks the help of her sister Isa (Erica Midfjall), who listens to the record as well, and the same thing starts happening to her too. One of the sisters completely transforms into the other version of herself, and the shadow, dream version completely takes control of her life, essentially replacing her. Before it’s too late (because who knows how far this can go), the two sisters seek the help of the woman who recorded the record, a recluse named Lena (Christina Lindberg), who is, in fact, a powerful psychic who has long held the knowledge that she has powers beyond belief. Dismayed that one of her records somehow survived all these years, she tries to correct what has happened to the two sisters, and with the assistance of two young psychics who recently came to her for help, they attempt to merge the psychic entities to the originals of the two sisters, but in doing so they get the attention of the ancient gods that exist in the psychic world.
A very intriguing concept and plot makes Black Circle a compelling viewing experience, but despite a great idea and some weird, creepy vibes, the movie struggles to maintain a sense of tension and terror. Filmmaker Adrian Garcia Bogliano taps into some retro Italian-style wavelengths here, but for whatever reason he just wasn’t able to hit the bull’s-eye. I liked the overall effect of the movie, but with all this potential, the movie still feels a little undercooked. Filmed in Swedish.
Synapse brings Black Circle to Blu-ray in a nice edition that also comes with the soundtrack CD as a bonus, plus a commentary, a short film, an interview, behind the scenes features, and more.