New York Fashion designer Lynn Matthews (Melissa Gilbert) suddenly starts having nightmares about falling and develops a fear of elevators. Visiting a hypnotherapist (Jay Robinson) to find the source of her nightmares, Lynn remembers being a woman (Kat Green) who was thrown down an elevator shaft in San Francisco in 1963. When the nightmares start affecting her work, Lynn travels to San Francisco to find out if the nightmares are real. Checking death certificates from 1963, Lynn discovers that the woman in her nightmares is Mary Ann Emerson, who fell down an elevator shaft in 1963, but the cause of death is listed as suicide. Contacting the police, she runs into Detective Jeff Alberts (Scott Plank), who offers to help her with her investigation. When the police report disagrees with Lynn's visions, Lynn and Jeff contact Lt. Dan Corso (Christopher Stone), the detective in charge of the original investigation. He assures them that there was no evidence of foul play in Mary Annís death. Unconvinced, Lynn discovers that Mary Ann was secretly married to Mark Gage (Ted Shackelford), a real estate developer who owns the building that Mary Ann lived and died in. Unfortunately, when Jeff tells Corso what Lynn found out, he immediately warns Gage that Lynn is snooping around. Checking Gage's background, Lynn discovers that his father was a powerful businessman in the sixties and that Gage had a promising political career until he dropped out of sight for two years...in 1963. Trying to find out who Lynn is and what she's really up to, Gage invites her to a dinner party, while Corso uses the opportunity to search her hotel room. The next day Lynn is almost killed when someone cuts her brake line. When Lynn and Jeff present the evidence they've gathered to Corso, he reluctantly agrees to let Jeff reopen Mary Ann's case but only after he finishes his current assignment. That night, Corso arranges to meet Lynn at Mary Ann's old apartment, claiming to have proof that Gage killed Mary Ann. At the apartment, Lynn starts to remember more details about what happened the night Mary Ann was killed. She remembers Mary Ann angrily telling Gage that his father tried to buy her off and that their marriage would never work. As the visions continue, Lynn retraces Mary Ann's steps from the apartment to the elevator. However, just as Corso is about to push Lynn down the open elevator shaft, Gage shows up and stops him but Corso pulls a gun and shoots Gage. Finally able to see the face of Mary Ann's killer, Lynn realizes that Corso killed Mary Ann because Gage's father didn't want her damaging his son's political future. A struggle ensues as Corso tries to kill Lynn but Gage shoots him before dying himself.
Type of mind control: Hypnosis
Mind control scenes:
The only definite mind control scene is the one where Lynn is hypnotized by the therapist and taken back to a time in her childhood when she was happy and carefree, then taken back further to the scene of Mary Ann's murder. If you wanted, you could also argue that Lynn's visions are mind control since they begin to affect her daily life. When designing dresses for one of her clients, she makes them all in the style of 1963 and draws images from her visions in the background, like the view from Mary Ann's apartment window and the little red sports car Gage drove in 1963.
3 out of 5
The hypnotic induction in this movie seems quite realistic, with the hypnotherapist using a spinning wheel to hold Lynn's focus while a metronome ticks in the background and he relaxes Lynn with his soothing voice. A real induction would probably take much longer but you can only show so much in a movie without boring the audience. Of course, like most movies, the hypnosis is only a minor plot device to get the story moving and I would have liked to see more. They tease us with the promise of more when the hypnotherapist gives Lynn a self-hypnosis tape to use. But she only listens to it once and not while hypnotized.