The Eyes of My Mother Blu-ray l DVD
Director: Nicolas Pesce
Writer: Nicolas Pesce
Starring: Kika MagalhÃ£es, Will Brill, Paul Nazak, Flora Diaz, Clara Wong, Diana Agostini Magnet Releasing
Rated R l 76 Minutes
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Writer and director Nicolas Pesce‘s debut feature, The Eyes of My Mother, arrived on Blu-ray and DVD today.
This is a movie that I’ve been anxious to see since first watching the unsettling trailers last year. If a trailer alone can be that disturbing, what would the full movie do to me? An exciting thing to ponder for a horror fan.
The Eyes of My Mother begins with a young girl named Francisca who lives on a farm with her parents. Her mother was a surgeon in Portugal, and teaches Francisca anatomy by doing things like dissecting cows’ eyes in the kitchen. You know, normal kid stuff. One day something traumatizing happens to Francisca—far more traumatizing than exploring the inside parts of a cow’s head in the kitchen—and while it doesn’t appear to affect her too much emotionally on the surface, deep down it drastically changes who she is and who she will become as she gets older.
Pesce deserves much praise for his work here. The director is only 27 years old—born the same year movies like The Exorcist III, Child’s Play 2, Nightbreed, Predator 2, Misery, Psycho IV, and the TV movie adaptation of Stephen King’s It came out—and he makes a hell of an entrance with his first feature. The movie is just as dark and disturbing as the trailers hinted at it being, but it’s also beautiful filmmaking.
Pesce’s film is quite quiet, with many scenes having no music whatsoever, building dread through silence and making the events unfolding before your eyes all the more troubling as the sounds you do hear are enhanced. A story told in whispers, with the occasional scream acting as punctuation. And by that I don’t mean there’s jump scares. You’ll find none of those in The Eyes of My Mother.
In fact, you won’t find much of what most expect to see in a horror movie. It is a horror, there’s no doubt about that, but it’s all atmospheric and psychological. You don’t actually see much of the horrific things that occur. It’s mostly implied or obstructed just enough so you know what happened without actually witnessing it. You’ll find more visible violence in a single trailer for The Walking Dead than you’ll find in this movie. But not nearly as many nightmares.
It’s all a testament to Pesce’s style, the black and white presentation, the aforementioned quiet. It all results in a haunting exploration of the effects of loneliness and lack of guidance on a troubled young brain. The Eyes of My Mother is a unique horror experience, and one which won’t soon be forgotten by those who watch it.
As for bonus content, there’s not a whole lot sadly. Special features include an interview with Pesce, as well as a bunch of behind the scenes photos to go along with the trailer and some previews for other movies.