The Eyes Of My Mother
Director: Nicolas Pesce
Cast: Kika Magalhaes, Will Brill, Olivia Bond
Genre: Horror, Drama
Country of Origin: USA 2016 76 mins. (15)
Released by Park Circus
A rural farmhouse away from the public gaze, a lonely, isolated tragic figure, a dark and disturbed past that becomes normal accepted behaviour and the scene's set for a melancholic tale of murder, torture and kidnappings.
Francesca (Olivia Bond), a young girl lives with her parents on a remote farm. Her mother (Diana Agostini), a former Portuguese surgeon teaches her daughter about dissection and religion, her father (Paul Nazak) is quiet and distant. When a smiling stranger called Charlie (Will Brill) knocks on the door, life will never be the same again and when Francesca's father returns he finds his daughter in a house where something evil has happened.
Fast forward and Charlie, the smiling stranger is mutilated and chained in the barn. 'You're going to kill me, aren't you,?' he asks Francesca. 'Why would I. You're my only friend.'
Shot in 18 days, writer-director Nicolas Pesce's low budget debut feature told as three chapters in Francesca's life - Mother, Father and Family uses view and not view sequences rather than blood-filled, in-your-face gore. Shots of bloody hands and brutalised bodies effectively intimate unseen brutality and horror drawing you into the madness of the past, now the accepted norm. What next?
Kiki Magalhaes is role perfect as the adult Francesca, tragic, isolated, off-the-planet damaged, wrapped in the madness of the past. With Zach Kuperstein's stylish, image conscious, black-and-white cinematography, (Francesca's father who dies in his sleep and is preserved in a milky bath is a stunner) and Ariel Loh's eerie score, 'Eyes of my Mother' is an accomplished, dark and visually captivating art house feature debut that unfortunately ends too abruptly.