Saturday, October 5, 2019

Spook Out! Day 5 ~ The Eyes of My Mother (2016, In English and Portuguese w/Subtitles)

Netflix Says...
"At the remote farmhouse where she once witnessed a traumatic childhood event, a young woman develops a grisly fascination with violence."

I Say...
Dudes. I don't even know what to say, except that the Netflix blurb doesn't prepare you for what you're about to experience when you settle down to watch this movie. It's disturbing af and it'll stay with you a while.

Horror Type...
American Gothic, Indie/Arthouse Horror (A.A. Dowd's review for says, "If Ingmar Bergman had helmed The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, it might look something like this exquisite nightmare." That's exactly right. You can read the full review here but beware, thar be spoilers.

Main Players...
Kika Magalhães as Francisca (She only wants somebody to love, is that so wrong?)
Olivia Bond as young Francisca (Handy with a needle)
Will Brill as Charlie (Nope. Just nope.)

I liked...
  • how beautifully this is shot, in hushed black and white, lending it a dark-folktale quality
  • the boldness of writing a female character who performs horrors typically considered within the purview of men (in fiction and in reality)--but in a completely believable way, given how her formerly-a-surgeon-mother was raising her
  • how it engrossed me throughout, even as my gut churned with dread and disbelief
  • that it features Portuguese folk, y'all! My peeps, my language, my tribe--Viva Portugal!
  • the sparse use of dialogue, especially as it made reading subtitles without coming out of the story a breeze

The Meh...
  • it's slightly shorter than a standard feature (1 hour, 16 minutes) yet at times I wondered whether it'd ever end...probs due to the sick feeling in my stomach every time some new, darker horror emerged
  • the narrative's a wee bit choppy--when I read the Wikipedia plot summary I realized I'd utterly failed to connect a particular set of dots so I had to rewatch that portion to grok it
  • I don't know whose fault this is but two important sentences were mis-subtitled: at one point, one subtitle reads, "What am I going to do?" when what Francisca actually said was, "Eu preciso de alguém, mãe." ("I need somebody, mom.") Another time, the subtitle reads, "I wanted to make you proud," though Francisca said, "Isto é tão difícil sem ti, mãe." ("This is so hard without you, mom.") For each mis-titling, the actual dialogue is far superior to the bad translations, and so vital to the story! Ugh.

Would I recommend it...?
It's a brilliant, visually gorgeous, and unique take on a story often told and I highly recommend it to mature lovers of horror and film. I don't understand how this flick didn't totally blow up when it was released, but it's extremely worthy and deserves a lot of attention. NB: If you're of a sensitive disposition, as I am (I know, you wouldn't think it, considering some of the stuff I like) maybe try watching it the way I did: on a sunshiny Saturday morning, so you have time to process it and, if necessary, go do some fun stuff so you can sleep that night*.

  • For a gal who's lived her entire life in isolation, probably not even going to school or having any other females in her life to talk about makeup and whatnot, Francisca's eyebrows are remarkably tidy
  • The guy who played Charlie looked so danged familiar! Turns out he also plays The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's brother, Noah Weissman, who's secretly working for the CIA. Fella's got some serious acting chops--he utterly terrified me during the brief moments he was onscreen in The Eyes of My Mother

My Grade: A-
Rotten Tomatoes Scores: Tomatometer=78%, Audience Score=57%

Details, Schmeetails...
I Watched The Eyes of My Mother on Netflix (the Rotten Tomatoes page linked above provides links to other host sites)
The Eyes of My Mother's Wikipedia Page (Contains Spoilers)

*One way I process disturbing movies or TV shows is to read others' reviews. Here I've linked a few for The Eyes of My Mother but be warned, as in the link up top, thar be spoilers (aplenty). Please note: I agree with some, though not all, thoughts expressed in the following reviews.

Don’t be fooled by the artfulness: The Eyes Of My Mother is deeply f*ck*d up (I linked to this earlier in the post)

Eyes of My Mother review: a horror film about unimaginable response to unimaginable tragedy

The concludes Day 5 of


  1. I'm enjoying these reviews. Now I know what to avoid! Hahahahaha. And this one, while it sounds intriguing, is a big ole nope for horrificness (it's a word, right?).

    1. That's definitely a word and no, I don't think this one's for you. But my Day 6 pick might be! ;-)


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