Nicolas Pesce has written and directed his debut feature film, in which he draws on his love of real life crime as well as Gothic horror movies from the 50s and 60s to tell this tale. Most horror movies love to show you how bloody they can be and how creative they are when they want to off someone. It’s a chance for horror creators and fan to revel in the mess that can be made when a serial killer is let loose. This isn’t the case for The Eyes of My Mother.
The story follows a slightly odd family who have a young daughter being raised in isolation at a farm in USA. The daughter grows up in a house where there is a a shocking a gruesome incident which causes her to become lonely. This manifests itself in her personality at a later age when she’s totally alone after losing both parents and becomes this psychopathic killer. The crimes she commits don’t stop her from trying to live a somewhat normal life, meeting people and bringing them back to her farmhouse. She’s evil and romantic rolled into one. She is deeply portrayed by Olivia Bond (young Francisca) and Kika Magalhaes (older Francisca) who both give sterling, powerful and quietly understated performances. The cast are all friends of the director’s including Will Brill whose character Charlie has a darkly comic tone and Diana Agostini, the mother who has a very passionately disturbed way about her.
The Eyes of My Mother takes an entirely different direction with it’s approach to it’s own horror. The scenes of the most shocking violence are off screen, something for you to create in your own imagination. The black and white adds to that, giving it not only a dated feel but also a non-stylish version. It keeps it’s characters, story and location very grounded by implying certain acts and certain things which happen. It’s a smart and clever way of telling a story from Pesce, he’s crafted a frighteningly original horror with a female lead, something which is still surprisingly rare. There’s an eerie frustration in not knowing what’s going on, but this is also part of its brilliance. He’s a director who not only knows how to scare you but also when.
4 out of 5.
I spoke to the director, Nicolas Pesce about his directorial debut The Eyes of My Mother. Check it out here.
Keep. It. Reel.