Jan 11, 2024
Rebecca Creskoff, Jessica Meraz, Toks Olagundoye
With Clear Mind, director Rebecca Eskreis and writer Seanea Kofoed craft a darkly comedic tale of revenge while also poking fun at new age therapy.
After losing her daughter in a freak drowning accident, Nora (Rebecca Creskoff) finds herself adrift in grief. Her marriage over and dropped from her friend group, Nora seeks solace in a new form of virtual reality therapy. In the virtual world, Nora gets to exact revenge against the family and friends who have wronged her. Unfortunately the violence doesn’t stay virtual.
Despite presenting itself as a horror thriller, Clear Mind is surprising light on frights. As the carnage begins to splash across the screen later in the film, it’s only after Eskreis has subjected the audience to round after round of uncomfortable confrontations between Nora and her former friends. While the kills and gore gags might not wow horror fiends, the tension and seat-squirming anxiety created in the lead up more than makes up for it.
Despite being high-concept, Clear Mind is not a plot heavy film. The bulk of the movie features characters simply talking to one another around a table. It’s a testament to Kofoed’s writing that while the movie is overly chatty, it’s never boring. Only when the movie stops to propel the plot forward does Clear Mind stumble.
Eskreis and Kofoed’s commentary on therapy and the people found in Nora’s friend group is so well established through character relationships that any push to highlight it through plot seems disingenuous and clunky. The genre hook of the movie feels like the part the filmmakers were the least interested in.
Despite somewhat pulling punches with its genre elements, Clear Mind is still a well written jab at pseudo-science and the people in its orbit.