If you aren’t into gore or if you thought 2016’s arthouse hit The Witch moved too slow, then ignore The Eyes of My Mother. It’s not going to meet you halfway, but if you like the bloody and highbrow horror it’s offering, you should probably search it out.
The feature debut of writer/director Nicolas Pesce clocks in at a mere 76 unhurried minutes, and the bold move to keep the film short is just one of the signs that Pesce has done what he wants. The movie comes with a laundry list of things that will alienate some viewers: black and white cinematography, a mixture of English and Portuguese dialogue, a high potential for eye mutilation. While the overwhelming style did turn off some people during its festival run, just as many were thrilled by its constantly needling tension, pegging Pesce as an up-and-comer to watch.
The film is, in fact, told in three parts, following a girl named Francisca as she grows up on a Midwestern farm. Adult Francisca is played by relative newcomer Kika Magalhaes, a former dancer who it seems will take on much of the film’s gory descent. As you can see from the trailer, her background lends her a precision of movement that pairs nicely with the film’s terse dialogue and precise framing.
The song you hear in the back half is fado, a Portuguese genre that is interchanged with the discordant tones of the film’s score. The cumulative effect in the trailer is unnerving, even without the shocking gore that it hints at. If that isn’t a good sign for a horror film, then I don’t know what is.
The Eyes of My Mother is directed by Nicolas Pesce and stars Kika Magalhaes, Will Brill, and Olivia Bond. It will be released in the U.S. in theaters on November 18th, 2016 and online on December 2nd, 2016. Further release dates are not currently known.
Do you think you can stomach The Eyes of My Mother? Let us know in the comments!
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