Julia's Eyes (2010)

July 7, 2011 - 11:24pm | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: Belén Rueda, blind, blindness, Cha Cha Cha, Focus Features Intl., foreign, Guillem Morales, Guillermo del Toro, julia's eyes, Lluis Homar Oriol Paulo, Mystery, Rodar y Rodar, spanish, thriller

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Guillem Morales
Belén Rueda, Lluís Homar, Pablo Derqui, Francesc Orella

Produced by Guillermo del Toro, Julia's Eyes is the sophomore effort from writer/director Guillem Morales, who seems to have a knack for creating solid mystery-thrillers, which is what this was for the first half, while the second sadly became less tense and more predictable as time went on. That still didn't sway me too far from liking the film, despite its shortcomings in the end.

The story revolves around Julia, who returns home with her husband after the supposed suicide of her twin sister. Upon her arrival she immediately notices something amiss with the events surrounding the death of her sister, whom was suffering from a degenerative illness that eventually resulted in her going blind. The very same illness that Julia herself will soon face, but that won't stop her from finding the truth behind her sister's death.

Although not the most original, Julia's Eyes still offered an intriguing concept and some surprisingly tense scenes, especially in the first half where we follow Julia as she begins to piece things together about the mystery behind the demise of her sister. I also really enjoyed Guillem Morales' choice to purposely hide the face of key characters in the film, primarily when Julia has succumb to her blindness, which in a way also gives the audience a sense of being blind.

The first half of the movie is a successful mystery/thriller, but once we pass the hour mark the film goes through a complete change of pace. Around this time Julia is forced to live as a blind person, and even has a caretaker looking after and helping her cope with her illness until she can get an operation to possibly restore her eyesight. The once strong Julia becomes a paranoid and frail woman relying simply on the help of her caretaker.

Luckily once we move passed the silly upbeat montage and the two "getting to know each other," the pacing and storyline begin to pick up again and we're reintroduced to some of the suspense that was apparent in the first half. Unfortunately, this is also accompanied by predictability, particularly with the reveal of certain things towards the end and the mystery aspect is dropped, while it suddenly turns into what seems to be a slasher.

Julia's Eyes isn't a bad film, but it definitely could have been a better addition to the genre had it kept the pace and intriguing storyline of the first half. Unfortunately, in the second half much of the mystery and tense scenes are lost and we're instead given a slasher with a predictable climax. Apart from that it's still worth a look, especially if you're a fan of Spanish horror and like a decent mystery.

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FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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