Posted August 31, 2011 by Alex Moss Editor in DVD/Blu-ray
 
 

Julia’s Eyes


Dripping with atmosphere this Spanish horror/thriller is another example of how to keep an audience on tenterhooks.

Dripping with atmosphere this
Spanish horror/thriller is another example of how to keep an audience on
tenterhooks.

Over
the past few years Spanish films have shone a shining light in the field of
supernatural thrillers come horror films. Ignoring the trend of Hollywood to
remake, previous glory days or soak everything in enough gore to distract from
a lack of plot such films as REC (2007),The Devil’s Backbone (2001), The Orphanage (2007) and Pan’s Lab (2006), have set the bar for
hugely engrossing and successful films based in the genre. In many ways Guillermo Del Toro, who is in part
responsible for all bar one of the previously mentioned films, is the Spanish
reincarnation of Alfred Hitchcock; A
man who revels in the mystery and macabre of fatally flawed people. Julia’s
Eyes is a continuation of this trend and once again shows that big budget is no
competition for a well-told yarn.

After
her blind sister’s mysterious suicide Julia (Rueda), who suffers from the same degenerative eye disease as her
sibling, is convinced there is more to her death than a simple case of
depression. Despite her husband
Isaac’s (Homar) concerns Julia
begins to discover that her sister may have had a secret life and an admirer
who always lurks in the shadows. With her own eyesight rapidly deteriorating
Julia will soon discover that being in her sister’s shoes will unravel a dark
secret.

As
with the Del Toro produced The Orphanage, Julia’s Eyes positively drips with creepy
foreboding. When Julia’s sight begins to dwindle so we are we only able to make
out vague lights and darks, our own minds forced to question whether or not we
actually saw something. The first third is a wonderfully visceral affair with
enough questions and red herrings being firmly placed in the audience’s mind.
Indeed what starts as a super-natural thriller rapidly becomes an intriguing
who-dunnit.

The
only downside is that the final third does drag, never really bringing with it
the twist and daunting revelation you felt was inevitably coming. However,
while the intrigue might vanish it is replaced by a clever, and always
inventive, game of cat and mouse. Julia, played with stoic gusto by Belen
Rueda, must out-fox a man who seems able to disappear even to those with clear
sight. Furthermore, towards the end director Morales finds fun ways to keep you constantly guessing as to
various character’s motivations never allowing you to settle on any finite
conclusion.

It’s
about forty minutes too long but Julia’s Eyes is a film that more than draws
you into its unique sense suspense. What is more the final revelation is both unexpected and
touching in a way that a film of this ilk rarely strives for.

To Pre-Order Julia’s Eyes On DVD Click Here Or On Blu-Ray Click Here


Alex Moss Editor

 
Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com