The Eyes of My Mother
Time Out says
Dreamlike and terrifying, Nicolas Pesce's debut suggests a filmmaker who knows his horror classics intimately.
A man comes up a long, dusty road to a house on a hill. That could be the start of many horror films—in fact, it is—but none of them do what debuting writer-director Nicolas Pesce does in his shocking The Eyes of My Mother. For one, we quickly notice the guy is unwell: giggly, wide-eyed, armed with a huge pistol and the desire to flaunt it. And yet, even he doesn’t know he’s just invaded a home where the careful slicing of flesh is a way of life. There’s a young girl who lives there; she becomes a fast learner.
Pardon the vagueness, but some surprises are worth keeping. Shooting in ominous black and white (often from a high, airy remove), Pesce has made an exquisite creepshow that pays homage to the mightiest of fear films, Tobe Hooper’s silent-majority satire The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), while still having a coppery taste all its own. The movie skips through the years; skeptical viewers will wonder if such domestic brutality could go unnoticed for so long. But of course, it can: The Eyes of My Mother already feels, unwittingly, like a timely expression of backwardness straight from the heartland, tinged with revenge, sex and saintly suffering. If you can stomach the fear, go. Confident hands created this film. Its nightmare lingers for weeks.
Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf
Cast and crew