Monday, October 31, 2011

31 Days of Horror: Julia's Eyes

2010, Guillem Morales -- download

Hey I did a pretty good job keeping up on posting near the actual date of the watching, but then the horrors of life got in the way. So pretend you read this sometime around the date you see it posted under.

Interestingly enough, and unintended, this movie stars the lead actress of the last movie we watched,  The Orphanage, Belén Rueda.  Guillermo del Toro again produced so I am not surprised, if he was happy with her first performance.  And yet again we have a Hitchcockian (sounds rude out loud) thriller with horror elements.

Julia and Sara are identical twins with the same degenerative eye disease.  The movie introduces us to Sara, blind and panicking over an attacker who seems to climb out of the shadows, even to us with eyes. The most disturbing part is that he seems to be scaring her into hanging herself. At the moment of her death, Julia stumbles and cries out, to lead her husband in a rush to Sara's house. Surprisingly, Julia seems to take the death OK but for a desire to investigate why Sara committed suicide. She also doesn't seem to mind staying in Sara's house.

There are two levels to the horror in this movie, one being the man or creature who seems to come out of the shadows to assault Julia and the other is the speedy descent into blindness that Julia suffers. Both contribute to each other but almost live seperately. Taken unto itself, the man with who suffers from not being seen, a more powerful version of what I thought I had in high school, is definitely the most scary element of the movie.  But it is the classic sense of suspense in this movie that is the real horror. I hate to repeat myself but it was very very classic Hitchcock in style leading us from one tense scene to another. And like Hitchcock, just because we get a reveal of one element, it doesn't mean we are done with the suspense and scares.

Julia's Eyes is a wonderful bit of film making but I fear for it's place in the current age. How many people will find the slow suspense with few real scares? It's more about what can happen or what is going to happen than the actual happening? I admit to preferring a bit of the supernatural in my horror, as it lets my imagination run to its own conclusions, but from a film making perspective I do prefer this.