The whole premise of a character who hears voices in their head isn’t very new, but the way in which Enter the Dangerous Mind tells it, about an EDM producer – EDM, Enter the Dangerous Mind, get it? – with a troubled childhood, social anxiety and of course a voice in his head is really quite impressive, in a horrificly dark sort of way.
Jim (Jake Hoffman) mostly sits alone in his very large, sleek-dark apartment making loud, repetitive music to his quite impressive online following. When it comes to the real world though, Jim isn’t quite as successful and struggles to interact on a daily basis with people. It becomes quite apparent after about five minutes that Jim is schizophrenic with the abusive Jake (Thomas Dekker) following him around, telling him how he needs to change his life. A chance meeting with a young woman, Wendy (Nikki Reed) through Kevin (Scott Bakula), Jim’s ex-care worker, leads to dark events throughout the entire film that culminates in an explosive ending.
Writer-director Victor Teran doesn’t treat the audience like idiots and lets them in on the story right away and together with his co-director, Youssef Delara, they create an atmospheric, daringly real look at mental health and the consequences of the mind’s power over our body. It only really takes about 15 minutes for you to go from thinking the film looks a little plain and ordinary to knowing it feels different to the similar genre films like ETDM you’ve seen before. It’s intriguing and it keeps you on the edge of your seat right until the very end.
ETDM can be extremely hard to watch during moments of the film and as Jim begins to really crack you still don’t have a hatred for him, rather more of a sympathetic feeling. Credit is due to the writing here which humanises and never exploits the story as well as Jake Hoffman, who plays Jim with a powerfully quiet grace that I’m sure would make his father (Dustin Hoffman) proud.
The film may be a little far-fetched for some people, and any film that features schizophrenia accompanied with a physical presence that only the central character can see will always get the Fight Club references, but Enter the Dangerous Mind really does impress and you could do worse than going to see it in theatres come February 6th.
If you want another opinion, be sure to check out Alex’s review of the film when he saw it back in 2013.