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The Eyes Of My Mother is a very stylish and at times stylised film. It’s a disturbing tale of a daughter’s quest to replace the maternal love so brutally taken from her by a serial killer at a young age. The events that take place in the film are horrifying but does this qualify it as a horror, not quite.
The Eyes Of My Mother is the debut feature by writer/director, Nicolas Pesce and he does an admirable job. The decision to shoot the entire film in black and white is what raises it above mediocrity and sets the tone for the film. Also, the principal actress, Kiki Magalhaes is convincing for the most part as the adult although as the film reaches its climax she becomes too self aware. That would be my sole criticism of this film for all its beautiful cinematography and interesting play with the genre, it is just too self aware. Watching the film you sense that Pesce wants you to think isn’t this clever and look how I inverted what usually happens in a horror e.g. near the beginning you think a character will be killed but isn’t. It’s acceptable to employ the misdirection technique but sparingly. In this film it happens far too frequently.
The Eyes of My Mother is following the trends of other recent horror films that place maternal love at the heart of the film – Under The Shadow and Babadook. Those films the mother is very much present whereas in The Eyes Of My Mother it’s the loss of the maternal figure that plays the pivotal role.
Also, I am giving this film an extra gold star as it was mercifully short at 1 hour 13 mins.
The Eyes Of My Mother is out in cinemas Friday 24 March.