31 Days of Horror, Day 15
Girl learns how to butcher animals from her mother, who used to be a surgeon. Girl loses mother in a particularly horrific way. Girl reacts in an equally horrific way – repeatedly, for about 77 minutes.
Yeah, I get that this is the directorially debut of Nicolas Pesce, and it was shot on a shoestring budget. That explains why a) the film is in black and white and b) so much of the violence, and major plot points, are left to the viewer’s imagination.
But, I mean, at what point does strategically cutting away from a gruesome scene, or flashing forward in time, become less of an artistic decision and more of a crutch for lazy writing? You could make the case for this movie being a parable for the debate about nature vs. nurture just as easily as you could argue that it’s a cautionary tale about the dangers of home schooling.
Okay, preventing your kids from learning from a licensed teacher and interacting with other children of the same age probably isn’t going to turn them into cannibalistic serial killers incapable of showing empathy toward anyone except their mother. But I digress.
What I’m getting at is that The Eyes of My Mother, while beautifully shot, has the script equivalent of a Mad Libs sheet. You’ll have to do some mental gymnastics to fill in the blanks, but you won’t be able to take your eyes off the screen.