Nicolas Pesce's The Eyes of My Mother is a minimalist descent into horror, a film which relies heavily on its transgressive horror qualities to create its chills and shocking circumstances, unfortunately struggling to elevate itself into something more, settling for a diaboloical yarn of subversive horror. Set on a secluded farmhouse, The Eyes of My Mother focuses on Francisca, a young woman, who is raised in an unconventioal way by her mother, a former surgeon in Portural. Learning about anatomy, Francisca is a young girl who grows up unfazed by death due to her mother's peculiar teachings, but when a mysterious stranger enters into her life, shattering the peaceful existence of Francisca's uprbringing, it deeply traumaticizes the Francisca psychologically, awakening dark curiorisities inside her. With her father approaching death, Francisca becomes increasingly lonely and eradic, with her unconventional upbringing and scarred past merging with her isolation and solitude to create a woman whose infaturation with the inner-workings of the human body only leads to chaos and death. Nicholas Pesce's The Eyes of My Mother is best described as a subversive tale of loneliness, a film which desperately tries to create a character in Francisca who is empathetic to the audience, a tough task given the woman's heinous acts she commits throughout the film. The Eyes of My Mother wishes to show how Francesca is a victim of her environment, a young woman who has grown to associate violence and death with pleasure and companionship, with her absolute isolation only stroking the flames of her seering loneliness. Her total lack of understanding when it comes to human empathy and the construct of morality lead her to take part in some truly heinous acts of bloodshed, fueled by her desire to have someone else to share her life with, whether it be a companion or a young child she can look after. The film doesn't quite earn the twisted psychological state of this character it is going for, with her heinous acts and intentions feeling inorganic, simply there to provide further shock value and squemish moments for the audience, even when considering the horrible tragedy involving her mother's brutal murder that unquestionably sent her down this path of pain, solitude, and inevitably darkness. Featuring beautiful and crisp black and white cinematography, Nicholas Pesce's The Eyes of My Mother is a stark, subversive descent into horror and madness, a film that isn't nearly as intelligent or introspective as it aims to be, while delivering some diabolically, transgressive forms of horror filmmaking.
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