NOCTURNE (2020)

Written & Directed By: Zu Quirke CInematography: Carmen Cabana
Editor: Andrew Drazek

Cast: Sydney Sweeney, Madison Iseman, Julie Benz, Rodney To, Jacques Colimon, Ivan Shaw

An incredibly gifted pianist makes a Faustian bargain to overtake her older sister at a prestigious institution for classical musicians.


You have seen this so many times before that this feels more like something that could have been wrapped up in an anthology episode.

While the film presents Itself with a character who cares what everyone else thinks too much, doing it in an artistic ambition might be the only original aspect. As it presents a character too shy and who has worked all her life only to be considered second best or even slightly above average and whose main competitor is always her sister who she naturally takes a backseat to. The film shows that with age what might be special when you get diminished with age if you haven’t done anything. With it or are still in the same place 

It plays off more like an episode than a full-length movie. As it seems like there is some padding used more to dive deep into psychosis. Rather than furthering the story making it come off more dramatic and a character study of one character where all the others come off as one-note.

As the film comes off more like a drama that uses a kind of supernatural element to make the film come off as a thriller that reveals itself to maybe be some kind of psychosis and mental illness eating away at the character or all because of some kind of supernatural curse. It can also be seen as an obsession passed on from one to another that causes madness or preys on their weaknesses and allows them to interpret their weaknesses into some kind of mythology and allows them success. 

The film also feels like it was only really made because they had an up and comer in the lead Sydney Sweeney and this film gives her a chance to star in a more genre-leading role and see what her potential is as a lead and if it had made it to theaters the box office, but with her in it. It helped secure funding. 

This is a sibling rivalry tale that takes it to another level. Even though really it is only one sibling jealous of the other and the more successful one turning petty when the tables are turned. As she is not used to losing.

In the end, this feels like a very special episode of a series rather than a shocking thriller.

Grade: C