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For some eyes only

OUT NOW! As gorgeous as THE EYES OF MY MOTHER looks, it will test even the strongest of stomachs.

“Loneliness can do strange things to the mind”, says the saucer-eyed mother of the young Francisca in the first few frames of writer-director Nicolas Pesce’s minimalist black-and-white debut The Eyes Of My Mother. How right she is; we follow Francisca as she grows up on a secluded farm in rural America, clearly shaped by a horrific act of violence that befalls her family, witnessing what loneliness can do to a traumatised mind. Her story unfolds in three distinct chapters and, without giving too much away, this striking horror fable about the cyclical patterns in violence comes off as an arthouse version of American Psycho. Many will be quick to point out shades of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and rightly so; however, Pesce’s gothic sensibilities and matter-of-fact tone regarding torture, the severance of vocal chords and enucleation (don’t Google Image it) have more in common with Michael Haneke’s stark approach than Tobe Hooper’s.

Don’t misunderstand: this disturbing coming-of-age story may brilliantly rely on careful suggestion as opposed to gory outbursts, but Pesce’s direction, Zach Kuperstein’s lensing and the impressively harrowing sound design courtesy of Patrick Burgess assure that as gorgeous as the film looks, it will test even the strongest of stomachs. A must see for those who like their horror off the beaten track (and have strong guts).

The Eyes Of My Mother | Directed by Nicolas Pesce (US, 2016) with Kika Magalhaes, Will Brill, Olivia Bond. Starts February 2.

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