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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Child of Horror
by Betty Jo Tucker

The Eyes of My Mother, written and directed by Nicolas Pesce, may be the gloomiest horror movie ever made. There are no monsters, vampires, zombies, ghosts, demons, or any kind of supernatural happenings. But the film contains some of the most horrific acts you can imagine. And Pesce leaves much of that to your imagination -- which as you know -- can take you to very ugly places.

 

Horror taints an innocent child.

Within her brain bad sights are filed.

Growing up, she’s unfazed by death   

For her, it’s like taking a breath.  

 

A murdered mom, a withdrawn dad,

the only kin she ever had.

A killer guy in the barn chained --

to torture and feed, like she’s trained.

 

Deep loneliness becomes her bane.

Companionship she seeks in vain.

Habits die hard, the saying goes.

So this search leads to lots of woes.

   

An evil woman now no doubt,

but take a pause before you shout.     

Remember her in early days

before the bloody killing phase.    

 

Filmed in black and white with many scenes so dark you have to strain hard to see what’s happening, this movie left me feeling drained and down in the dumps. Still, horror movie buffs may be pleased, mostly because of the haunting performance of Kika Magalhaes as the young woman, who -- as a child (portrayed by darling Olivia Bond) -- sat in one American farmhouse room listening to a stranger butcher her mother in the adjoining bathroom.

Magalhaes plays the adult Francisca, who still misses her mother (Diana Agostini), a former eye surgeon in Portugal. Francisca’s mother taught her about human anatomy, and this made her curious to learn more. But how she manages to do so is quite frightening. She’s often seen scrubbing blood stains on the floor. Francisca says very little. When she does talk, it’s mostly about -- or to -- her dead mother. And there’s never any doubt about what she will do if anyone gets in her way.

On the bright side, there’s one beautiful scene in The Eyes of My Mother. It showcases Francisca dancing gracefully to a lovely tune playing on the phonograph. Frankly, I can’t help wondering if this might have been shot for another film.      

Horror is beyond the reach of psychology. --- Theodor Adorno

(Released by Magnet Releasing and rated “R” for disturbing, violent content and brief nudity.)

For more information about The Eyes of My Mother, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.


                                                                                                                                                                               
 
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