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Hypnotherapist Doctor Michael Strother has a dangerous gift: he has flashes of visions from his patients' minds. Whilst trying to help Detective Janet Losey give up smoking, he sees in her mind a young girl floating below the surface of a stream. Losey is working on a case where a young girl, Heather, has disappeared. When she is found several days later, she has been struck dumb by whatever trauma she has endured. The only clue could lie in the mysterious markings on her arms.

Orthodox police investigation has failed so far, and so Losey enlists Michael's help, hoping that he can coax the girl to speak. When she does, she utters gibberish, which Michael eventually realizes is some kind of incantation.

At home, Michael's pregnant wife, Clara, warns her husband not to become involved. Michael and Clara, with daughter Martha, have left their home in America after Michael's hypnosis of a young swimmer led to the boy's death. Michael is haunted by guilt, and suffers insomnia.

Via the internet, Losey contacts Elliot, owner of a bizarre game shop. His knowledge of arcane religions leads him to recognize that the words spoken and the symbols on Heather's arms are associated with ancient liturgies. Elliot recommends that they read the work of Professor Catherine Lebourg.

In the crypt of a derelict church, two young boys find symbols and bloodstains which the police identify as connected to the previous murders. Elliot tails Losey to the church and leaves a message with Clara that he has information, but when Michael and Losey visit Elliot's shop, the killer has been there before them. Elliot is dead.

A visit to Professor Lebourg, now the frail resident of an old people's home, leads Michael and Losey to investigate the arcane beliefs of a 16th Century religious fanatic, who was eventually burned at the stake. One of his later followers, Edward Lippard Smith, was an architect who built churches in London.

Michael feels he is being followed. His commitment turns to obsession, and he suffers hallucinations and flashbacks. As he tracks the killer, he becomes aware that the killer is tracking him, and he fears for the safety of his wife and daughter in their own home.

Heather is kidnapped from the safe house where she was being held. The police fire Losey from the force and Michael from the case. He and Losey investigate the Lippard Smith churches, identifying two that have changed use, and so were missed by the police investigation.

Michael explores one church building, now converted into a block of apartments. His suspicions are aroused by activity in the basement and he asks for help from one of the residents. As he is about to call the police, the young man stuns him with a blow to the head. He regains consciousness to find himself strapped to a kitchen table, attached to a contraption that is drawing his blood. He has walked into the killer's sanctum.

Suddenly, Professor Lebourg is in the apartment. She explains to Michael how she plans to cheat death.

Michael is left alone, but realizes that Heather is in the room, constrained in a wicker basket. He manages to hypnotize her, and she escapes to loosen his bonds.

Michael wrestles with his captor and the two crash through a window to the ground, just as Losey arrives. Inside the apartment they find Heather by the side of Lebourg, who is slumped in a chair; the professor's throat slashed.

Months later, Michael and Clara, with daughter Martha and their new baby, meet up with Losey and Heather and her mother. As Heather bends over the baby, Michael experiences a sense of foreboding.

Film Info

(2013)
2 min 12 sec Duration
9,576 views
  • Posted: November 12, 2007
  • Director: Nick Willing
  • Writer: Madison Smartt Bell (novel)
  • Studio: First Look
  • Release: April 23, 2004
  • Cast: Goran Visnjic, Paddy Considine, Shirley Henderson

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