Minimalist horror.


The Eyes of My Mother crept onto my radar a while ago, and for whatever reason I just now got around to watching it. One thing you might notice if you look the film up is that the plot summaries are all over the place. The movie is hard to define without giving away major spoilers, and combined with a 75 minute run time, this leaves not a lot to talk about.

We follow Francisca as she deals with the aftermath of a violent attack in her childhood home. The film follows Francisca as she grows up, and we can see the residual trauma effecting her. After the incident, Francisca does not develop properly, and the film focuses on her behavior. Without giving too much away, Francisca is one of the more interesting horror protagonists I have seen recently.

The film is minimalist, and the soft music, low-key directing, and black and white setting add to the vibe. The film might not have explosive scenes, but that doesn’t mean it lacks bite. Francisca’s activities are brutal, and the sheer will it would take to do what she does is amazing. The film builds upon itself, it is almost hypnotic in the way that it pieces together. An individual scene might not stand out, but taken as a whole the film is quite impressive.

Perhaps the most interesting part is the sheer realism of the domestic horror moments. The discomfort, panic, and pacing are all done flawlessly. There is a tension in these moments that takes a deft director and actor(s) to accomplish. The subtleness of the film makes the growing moments of tension pop in ways that filmmakers focused on dressing up their scenes simply can’t accomplish.

This movie reminds me of Darling, which I gave a perfect score. Anyone interested in topics surrounding gender and horror will love this movie. So much of the expected tropes are not only upending, but absolutely destroyed in this movie. Positions of power, sexuality, culpability, and guilt are all present. This film does more with less dialogue than countless other recent horror films. This is the type of movie I show people when they ask why I am so interested in the genre (and film as a medium). 10/10

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