Eyes Without a Face

Dir. Georges Franju
IMDb 7.7/10 – Rotten Tomatoes 98%

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The mysterious disappearances of young women in Paris has led to up to Dr. Génessier (Pierre Brasseur); a famed and brilliant surgeon. Génessier is asked to identify the body of a girl suspected to be his daughter. He views the body and claims it is her. As the film progresses, A funeral is given for the daughter, and Génessier returns home only to here music playing from the attic. He walks into the attic and is his daughter Christiane (Edith Scob) is laying there with her face buried into a pillow. He tells her he substituted her name for the body of a girl that died after his unsuccessful operation. She looks at him and he is shocked that she’s not wearing her “mask”, and he tells her to get into the habit of wearing it.

While she wears this emotionless mask; Génessier’s assistant Louise (Alida Valli) prowls the streets in search for beautiful young women. Louise brings them to Dr. Génessier and he removes the faces of the women so he can give his daughter a new one. This sets up the film up for a poetic yet horrifying look at the daughters difficulties with her face and a small detective mystery intertwined with the story.

Positives

  • The mask Christiane wears is extremely creepy. Her body shape is similar to a Mancunian, so that goes together very well.
  • It has a decent mystery to it that keeps you wondering; If the doctor will get caught and how long will the girl put up with the mask.
  • The film has a surrealist feel to it similar to David Lynch’s Eraserhead but not as extreme.
  • The film also has a film noir feel to it, and if shot in colour it may not as been as creepy.
  • They do show the removal of a women’s face.
  • Terrifying scream!

Negatives

  • The story was too simple but kept it realistic.
  • As creepy as the mask was, It was difficult to feel for the girl when she talked because it hardly showed expression.
  • The emotions from the leads were subdued. Which also made it hard to connect with them. The story behind the motives is what helped the connection.

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Overall: Eyes Without A Face is a good horror film that’s paced well. The film is french, so it does have subtitles. It’s not the average horror film that works on making the audience jumped, but working with the dread atmosphere and sinister works at hand. The horror is similar to Rosemary’s Baby by fearing the unseen. It’s not a favorite of mine, but I enjoyed watching it, and would recommend it if you want to see something different.

Rating: ★★★ / ★★★★★

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“I’ve done so much wrong to perform this miracle.”

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