Nothing says “Holiday Season” like horror movies. Well, ok, that’s not entirely true, but I just saw a couple and since we’re well past the Halloween season, I just thought I’d talk about them here. i’ll do two separate reviews, and the first one is The Eyes of My Mother.
I heard a lot of good buzz about this film, and that includes buzz about it being really disturbing and people leaving the theater while watching it. That immediately intrigues me. Disturbing and weird I like, disturbing and just plain gory for no reason, not so much. The Eyes of My Mother is the kind I like.
In a secluded farmhouse i the country, a mother who was a former surgeon in Portugal, teaches her daughter, Francisca, to understand anatomy and to not be phazed by death. One afternoon a mysterious stranger shatters Francisca’s idyllic family life, traumatizing the young girl yet stirring unique curiosities. Clinging to her increasingly distant father, Francisca’s deep loneliness and trauma converge years later as her need to connect to the world around her take on a dark form.
This film is mostly atmosphere and slow burn. It’s not for everyone, for sure. There are disturbing images and even more disturbing things psychologically speaking. At an efficient 76 minutes, some viewers might still find it could speed up a bit. But this isn’t the jump scare, running for your life kind of horror movie. No sir, it’s unique but worth the watch. But again, not for everyone. If you like unusual, moody, creepy, and unsettling films, this is a must.
But that being said, my expectations were definitely tested. It actually wasn’t as visually gory as I imagined. In fact, Hostel was harder to watch in that sense. The Eyes of My Mother is mostly dread and “wow, she’s really fucked up” sort of horror.
The cast, what there is of it, is great. You know, in that “it’s all a bit weird, so they’re playing it just right” sort of way.
The film is also absolutely gorgeously shot in black and white by cinematographer Zach Kuperstein, and written and directed by Nicolas Pesce. Pesce is a director to look out for no doubt.
Definitely worth seeing if this is your genre. Solid three and a half kittenhands.
~ Neil T Weakley, your average movie-goer, always pleasantly surprised to see some good, original horror.