Nocturne ★★★½

Multiple films such as Whiplash and The Perfection ingrained to its audience the severe cut-throat competition in music academies last decade and Blumhouse decided to continue the recurring motif with this film. Nocturne is a psychological horror film about a self-effacing music student and how she made Faustian pact to tower over her virtuoso twin sister in their elite music school’s annual showcase. Music is a literal blood sport, in which musicians are trained as early as three years old in order to have an upper hand in the industry, and with the low acceptance rate of prestigious performing arts schools, aspiring performers are faced with anxiety and paranoia in seeking the legendary status they wanted. Topped with a naturally dexterous and confident twin sister, who overshadowed her for years with no end, it's natural for anyone to reach a boiling point where they will do anything to be recognized. Who would settle for the second place when you can be the first? Quirke’s directorial debut showcased how incredibly difficult and competitive music studies, and performing arts in general, really is by delving into topics like jealousy, sexual frustration, exploitation, and desperation in an hour and a half film. While it is not as great of a film when compared to predecessors, such as Black Swan, Suspiria, or Whiplash, Nocturne provided a perspective of how a seemingly innocent passion can turn into an unhealthy obsession that corrupts everything and everyone involved.

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