Teenagers Juliet and Vivian are both enrolled in an elite boarding arts academy, are gifted pianists, but somehow Juliet is always seen as playing the second fiddle to her charismatic, vivacious, outgoing and sexuality-oozing twin sister Vivian, who is older than Juliet by just a few seconds. Vivian is the prodigy, whereas Juliet is the underachiever who is never taken seriously by her peers or teachers. Even before her graduation, Vivian has already been accepted into Juilliard, while Juliet has opted to take a gap year, though not exactly by choice. A determined Juliet is ready to go to any extent to fulfill her musical and other desires. Her need to do so gets stronger every day after she accidentally gets hold of Moira’s mysterious theory book that is scribbled with satanic figures and hidden messages, which help her to foresee her future. From getting her own music teacher suspended to seducing Max (Vivian’s steady boyfriend) and even taking her sister’s place at the school’s annual music function, Juliet’s greed, desire and needs seem limitless. The music used in the movie is one of the best features of the movie. Being a musical, classical and various genres of music have been blended here to prepare you for the next twist.
Moving to the good and not so good parts, the movie gives you a feel of ‘Black Swan,’ ‘Inception,’ ‘The Perfection,’ ‘Whiplash,’ but somehow it gets predictable. The horror, jump scare or surprise elements are very limited. The writers could have delved more into the sibling rivalry angle, the mysterious death of Moira and her family, the drawings on the wall which she drew before jumping off the building and the satanic cult, if any, to keep the viewers hooked. The ending leaves you with many unanswered questions, and even a bit deranged. However, the scenes between Juliet and her music teachers-the gentle and milquetoast Roger (John Rothman), whose career she tries to ruin, or the slick and demanding Henry (Ivan Shaw), who explains to Juliet that “music is a bloodsport” so as to inspire her, or Juliet walking towards her sister with bloody tampons, were some of the most amazing moments. The uneasiness between Iseman and Sweeney’s characters makes us curious to know more about the rivalry and jealousy aspects.
Like most Blumhouse productions, this one limits itself to a handful of décors and characters. ‘Nocturne’ is one of the eight horror movies – a joint venture of Blumhouse Television and Amazon Studios, all slated to release on Amazon Prime. Written and directed by Zu Quirke, this film marks her debut. Well, if you like movies which leave you with many unanswered questions, then this one is for you.