streaming horror the eyes of my mother

Welcome to 31 Days of Streaming Horror. Every day this October we’ll be highlighting a different streaming horror movie to help you get into the Halloween spirit. Today’s entry: The Eyes of My Mother (2016).

The Eyes of My Mother
Now Streaming on Netflix

Sub-Genre: Black and White Nightmare Fest

Best Setting to Watch It In: An empty barn behind your house

How Scary Is It?: Very

The term “fever dream” gets tossed around a lot when describing weird movies – especially weird horror movies. But what does that mean? Scientifically speaking, a fever dream is brought on when elevated temperatures disrupt your brain’s normal functions, leading to strange, even aggressive dreams. “Fever dreams are more bizarre, more negatively toned, [and] include less social interaction,” according to a 2016 study that appeared in The International Journal of Dream Research.

That is a perfect description for Nicolas Pesce‘s beautiful yet hideous black and white nightmare The Eyes of My Mother. Everything seems off here – no one is behaving normal, the world the characters inhabit seems altogether haunted, and time itself seems to move in unnatural ways. It’s the type of film that can you leave you disoriented when it’s over as if you’re coming down from a bad trip. The imagery here is somehow simultaneously repulsive and alluring – a blend of the grotesque and the gorgeous.

The Eyes of My Mother follows a lonely young woman named Francisca (Kika Magalhães). We first meet Francisca as a child, living on a secluded farm with her parents. One day, a door-to-door salesman shows up at the house and proceeds to murder Francisca’s mother. Francisca’s father comes home to discover the murder in progress, and his reaction is…well…odd. Rather than call the police to turn in the man who murdered his wife, Francisca’s dad beats up the killer and chains him up in the barn. Francisca’s reaction to all of this is even more strange (and that’s putting it lightly): she removes the killer’s eyes and vocal cords, but keeps him alive because she wants him to be her friend.

And guess what? It only gets more ghoulish and bizarre from there. Francisca grows up to become a murderer herself, but this isn’t some sort of serial killer movie. Writer-director Pesce (who is also directing the upcoming The Grudge reboot) plays with perception and reality. Is any of this happening? Is it all one big gory parable? Have we somehow entered Francisca’s fractured mindset? Whatever the answer, one thing is for certain: this movie will haunt you. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself experiencing a few feverish dreams of your own long after the end credits have rolled.

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