the absence of light, is one of our oldest and most powerful sources of
fear. It represents the unknown, as well as complete helplessness.
Little wonder, then, that horror movies have been using darkness to
frighten and disconcert us for generations.
(Los Ojos De Julia in Spanish) takes this familiar theme and puts a
unique twist on it. The darkness portrayed here is not simply a lack of
light getting to the eye; its
the eye itself, wasting away little by little until theres
nothing left to be seen.
Levin (Belen Rueda), an astronomer, collapses one day because she senses
something has happened to her blind twin sister. With husband Isaac (Lluis
Homar) by her side, she races to her sisters
house, only to find that she has hung herself. But something isnt
quite right. There are reports that her sister was seeing a man prior to
her death, yet no-one can remember a skerrick of detail about him.
Ignoring the advice of her husband, Julia sets out to identify and
confront this nameless man. But her eyesight is slowly collapsing
inward, as she succumbs to the same degenerative disease as her twin.
The tables turn and the villain becomes more brazen, as it becomes clear
that Julia is only one panic attack away from total blindness, and total
a great concept for a film, and Julias
Eyes lives up to the promise that it shows early on. This film works on
so many levels; there are different layers to the experience, and they
all complement the whole. Theres
quite a bit of sentimentality in this piece, especially with Julia and
relationship, that make all of the emotional punches land that much
Julia is a
great character, who really welcomes us into her psyche. Shes
young, independent and successful, and could be an analogue for any one
of us- yet shes
stricken with this terrible debilitating disease. The story is told
exclusively through her eyes, even after shes
gone completely blind. This is achieved by never showing us the face of
a character who Julia, herself cant
story would have allowed for a fairly conventional horror movie,
director Guillem Morales has opted for a creepy psychological thriller.
eyes cultivates a growing sense of uneasiness through the plot twists,
the increasing desperation of the protagonist and the adept use of light
and dark. Its
not a scare-a-minute fright-fest, but a slow-burning hackle-raiser.
want to say too much about the films
creepier moments, because doing so would spoil too much of the plot- but
suffice to say, there are some genuinely clever moments of suspense.
As well as
a theatrical trailer, the disc comes packed with interviews of Producer
Guillermo Del Toro, Director Guillem Morales, and stars Belen Rueda and
Lluis Homar. These are short and sharp, but give you a few useful
insights into what the filmmakers were trying to achieve. There is also
a B-roll, which is comprised of extra footage from the set during
different times charming, thought-provoking and scary, Julias Eyes is
rich in creative detail. Great evidence that you dont need a big budget
to pull off a great thriller, just passion and talent.