Of all the buzz-heavy movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, one in particular kept coming up in casual conversation as one of those movies anyone with the stomach for it had to see before leaving: The Eyes of My Mother. Writer/director Nicolas Pesce’s stark, striking debut feature follows the disturbing life of a young woman whose tranquil rural life is horrifically interrupted one sunny day. The film, shot in lustrous (and arguably necessary) black and white, is a different kind of genre film, a patient and quietly horrifying piece of filmmaking.
During CoS’s coverage of Sundance, Justin Gerber found that “With his feature-length debut, writer/director Pesce never explains the ‘why’ and that proves key to Eyes’ success. These characters are who they are. Pesce doesn’t let us off the hook with a flashback an hour in. He doesn’t film a scene where local teens discover old newspaper clippings in a nearby townhouse. We’re left to our own devices, our own make-believe. There is a trust here that we just don’t get in mainstream horror, and Eyes is so much stronger for it. Instead of wrapping himself up in cheap scares and tired twists, Pesce offers up hugely satisfying alternatives.”
Fair warning: the film’s trailer may or may not tell you more than you want to know. In any case, The Eyes of My Mother will hit theaters and VOD on December 2nd.