‘The Eyes of My Mother’ is an Atmospheric, Unsettling Exercise in Horror

GameStop, Inc.

The Eyes of My Mother

Not all horror movies require moments of startling jump scares that slightly increase your heart rate for a brief moment to be effective. The Eyes of My Mother, the directorial debut of writer-director Nicolas Pesce, is an increasingly unsettling exercise in horror that never depends on the jump scares to emphasize its creepy material. Seemingly culled from history of infamous killers, The Eyes of My Mother features a lead character that feels like Ed Gein ventured into the field of optometry.

As a young girl, Francesca (Olivia Bond) learned various lessons of anatomy and life from her mother (Diana Agostini), a former eye surgeon in Portugal. One day, a stranger (Will Brill) approaches their secluded rural home and proceeds to force his way into the home before killing the mother. When Francesca’s father (Paul Nazak) returns home, he beats the stranger and leaves him bloodied in their barn where young Francesca becomes infatuated with the beaten man, using his body as a living cadaver to continue her lessons in anatomy. As she gets older, Francesca (now played by Kika Magalhaes) grows increasingly lonely as her elderly father has passed. Now Francesca goes out of her way to find new reluctant companions to ease the growing feelings of loneliness.

Pesce’s film isn’t a movie of unrelenting tension, but the unease it invokes in its viewers is unrelenting. The black and white cinematography of Zack Kuperstein and the sparse musical score Ariel Loh lend a creepy atmosphere to the escalating horrors that Francesca perpetrates. Those atrocities aren’t excessively gore for the queasy horror fan nor are they exactly tame, but Pesce strikes a deft balance between leaving horror to the imagination and providing the audience glimpses of the ghastly terror. The Eyes of My Mother doesn’t waste a minute of its sparse running time as Nicolas Pesce crafts a piece of horror that is atmospheric and unsettling throughout and always willing to take its story in unexpected places.

What really makes The Eyes of My Mother so unsettling is the innocence that Kika Magalhaes brings to the role of Francesca. It’s one thing when you’re dealing with an evil that understands itself to be evil, but Francesca has a child-like mentality that only finds comfort and friendship through sadistic forms of anatomical exploration. The movie operates as a character study in the aching loneliness that defines Francesca’s life from the day that stranger arrived onward, and without a healthy outlet for her feelings of solitude leads the character into the darkest recesses of her mind. As Francesca descends further and further away from reality and morality the film takes a darker and darker turn leading to a shocking final act that is simply chilling.

The Eyes of My Mother is a standout piece of horror filmmaking and a standout directorial debut for Nicolas Pesce. It marks one of the most unsettling pieces of horror to grace the screen in 2016 with moments that leave a gruesome mark on your mind. There are moments from The Eyes of My Mother that I’ll have a hard time forgetting. But more so, I’ll be anxiously looking forward to what Nicolas Pesce has to offer in the future.

The Eyes of My Mother
  • Overall Score
4

Summary

Creepy and increasingly unsettling, The Eyes of My Mother is an assured directorial debut by Nicolas Pesce that escalates in its unease as it follows a lonely and disturbed protagonist.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

FanboyNation
Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
‘Tiger Stripes’ Redefines Modern Horror at Film Maudit 2.0 – Review

Redefining modern horror, ‘Tiger Stripes‘ is East Asian filmmaking at its...

Annabeth Gish & C. Thomas Howell Talk About Their New Modern Western, ‘Ride’ – Interview

Annabeth Gish and C. Thomas Howell Discuss Their Roles in the...

Exclusive Clip from Roku’s ‘Fight Inc.: Inside the UFC’

Exclusive Clip from ‘Fight Inc.: Inside the UFC‘ now streaming exclusively...

Event News Event Reviews
‘Chess The Musical’ is a Product of its Times – Review

It is clear that, ‘Chess The Musical‘, was written through the...

‘The Old Man and the Old Moon’ at Mission San Juan Capistrano – News

‘The Old Man and the Old Moon‘ at Mission San Juan...

‘Holmes & Watson’ Solve the Case at the Laguna Playhouse – Review

Jeffrey Hatcher’s ‘Holmes & Watson‘, Enthralls Audiences in a Magnificent twist...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Oscar De La Hoya Partners with El Rey for ‘Friday Night Fights’ – Interview

The Golden Boy himself chatted with us about Golden Boy Promotions...

Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Paralympian Swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger On The Road to Paris

Team USA Paralympian Swimmer, Ahalya Lettenberger is On The Road to...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse – Blood on the cactus pt 2?

Scone?

Fantoy Comics Presents – Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse! Blood on the cactus pt 1

It was really bloody, limbs hacked, heads torn off etc

Cultural Junk Drawer – The trial of Bluddgore the Obliterator

Wrech Cohvlid takes the stand providing testimony corroborating Cockmiester’s. He also...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus
MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Billy Eddy Talks His new Book ‘Our New World of Adult Bullies’ – Interview

Lawyer, Mediator and Personality Expert Bill Eddy Provides a Six-Step Strategy...

Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...