Saturday, 28 May 2011

Julia's Eyes

Year: 2010
Director: Guillem Morales
Screenplay: Guillem Morales and Oriol Paulo
Starring: Belen Rueda, Lluis Homar, Pablo Derqui, Francesc Orella, Julia Guttierez Caba
Running Time: 112 minutes
Genre: Horror, thriller, psychological

Summary: After the apparent suicide of her blind sister Sara (Rueda), astronomer Julia (Rueda) becomes convinced that Sara did not kill herself, and is soon obsessed with finding the truth behind her death, with the reluctant help of her concerned husband, Isaac (Homar). Julia is suffereing from the same degenerative disease that Sara suffered and is already going blind. She knows that if an operation to save her sight fails, soon she too will be totally blind. As her investigation progresses, Julia begins to feel that she is being watched and followed from the shadows. As a spate of apparent suicide claims the lives of people involved in Sara's last days, it becomes apparent that someone will do anything to prevent her from uncovering their secret.

Opinions: This Spanish horror movie was produced by Mexican writer, producer and director Guillermo Del Toro (who also produced the 2008 horror hit The Orphanage). The horror here is centered around blindness and the fear of being chased by someone who can see you but you can't see them. There are also a few disturbing sequences featuring eyeballs. It starts off as an investigative mystery thriller before suddenly switching gears and becoming something totally different.
The acting is very good throughout, and the film provides plenty of chills and genuinely thrilling chases. The film works on a lot of very primal levels, and the tension is sustained throughout. It also provides some unexpected twists thoughout. The film is well-made with a number of inventive visuals. It manages to pull off the concept of the veiled, hidden threat very well. The influence of Alfred Hitchcock is felt very strongly in this work, and there are also of plenty of typically quirky Del Toro touches.
The only real flaw in the film is an unsatisfactory coda in the closing minutes.
The film is a must-see for horror fans, and also for general thriller fans, who are looking for something a little different.

Belen Rueda in Julia's Eyes.

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