Film #291: THE EYES OF MY MOTHER
The Eyes of My Mother
3 out of 5 stars
First time director Nicolas Pesce (who’s next film is the upcoming THE GRUDGE remake) brings us this twisted tale of Love, Family and murder. Shot in BEAUTIFUL, high contrast Black & White, THE EYES OF MY MOTHER is a flawed, but entrancing work. Reminiscent of such body horror films such as EXCISION, AMERICAN MARY, Lucky McGee’s MAY, Oz Perkins’ I AM THE PRETTY THING THAT LIVES IN THE HOUSE, and Simon Rumley’s THE LIVING AND THE DEAD, MOTHER challenges to viewer with both its slow pace and its sudden visceral scenes of viciousness. The violence is heart-wrenching, abrupt, and surprising in its savagery. The pace is indeed slow and a lot of narrative information is given visually and silently, like the best Japanese cinema, so… if you’re not patient, you’re gonna find the film frustrating. But the pace works here whereas it didn’t, for example, in the recent THE VVITCH. But make no mistake… this is a *dark* film. It’s also stunningly beautiful in the framing of its visuals. Acting is solid, especially the female lead, Kika Magalhaes. There are flaws (slight spoilers ahead) to be sure: keeping people in your barn for years is far-fetched and ridiculous, victims arrive at the farm with a convenience that is just this side of contrived, the farm’s isolation may work to isolate the narrative, but it’s just not believable (especially given that they had electricity and *someone* would have to check the meters), and Dad would have been a mess just a few days after his demise. There’s more, but… you get the idea. But again, the film is beautifully shot and has an inherent creepiness that is oppressive and disturbing. Worth seeing and economical (it runs 76 minutes), THE EYES OF MY MOTHER is a first film by a director sure to go onto bigger things.