Review by Bluray Junkies
Writer/director Nicolas Pesce first feature film The Eyes of My Mother is a nightmarish tale that you can’t quickly shake off. The film is breathtakingly shot in black and white, with unsettling characters and story. What makes the film work is it starts off innocently introducing young Francisca played brilliantly by Olivia Bond as she is picking flowers outside the family farm. Francisca’s mother is a retired Veterinarian from Poland and she teaches her young daughter some of her old methods.
One day while her father is away, a stranger comes on the farm and characteristically talks his way into the house. The stranger has a sinister plan and when Francisca’s dad returns home, he finds the stranger doing something brutal and unspeakable to his wife. Instead of killing the stranger Francisca’s father takes the stranger into the barn as a captive and that’s when Francisca begins her dark decent into a psychopath.
Nicolas Pesce gives us the story through three phases of Francisca’s life giving the audience her story transitioning from the innocent girl, to a teenager to a seducing and alluring adult played by the beautiful Kika Magalhaes. Franciscia has remained on the farm, being isolated from most of the world as she starts to yearn for human connection, however those yearnings play out in brutal ways.
The film has a very unsettling but beautiful tone to it and the decision to film in black and white creates an even more haunting atmosphere. Magalhaes brings a perfect mix of haunting, innocence in a complicated performance as she sees nothing wrong the horrific acts she’s done.
The Eyes of My Mother is a stunning debut from Nicolas Pesce and a great slice of gothic and horror cinema, as you feel the effects long after it ends. One may say there are better films out there however don’t miss it as The Eyes of My Mother is a must see for any horror fan as it rattles the human psyche.
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