Produced by Guillermo del Toro, Julia’s Eyes is another in a long line of refreshing and authentic Spanish thrillers. Featuring a lot of mystery, excellent acting, and production values, movies like this are the reason why you should pay attention to European cinema. Certainly, this isn’t The Uncertain Guest or Sleep Tight but it will do in a pinch. I really didn’t like the melodramatic love story as it interfered with the main plot. Although I’m sure there will be people who will like this movie exactly because of this.
So, what do we have here? Julia’s Eyes opens with quite a dramatic scene. It’s night and it’s raining. We find a delirious blind woman talking to an imaginary enemy. She slowly makes her way to the basement and this is where things take a turn for the worse. The setup is quite simple actually but also very effective. You want to know what the fuck is happening and, more importantly, why? In this sense, the movie is much more similar to El Cuerpo and La Cara Oculta, two more great thrillers.
Belen Rueda was phenomenal as Julia in a rather complex role. Now, the pacing is a bit slower, so be ready for it. With a running time of just under two hours, Los Ojos de Julia is a movie that’s likely going to eat up your entire evening. However, you can watch it on any day of the week and it will still be interesting. Plus, it’s really easy on the eyes. The cinematography is stellar and there’s very little graphic violence. Although those two scenes were quite unnerving.
Julia and Sara are twin sisters who suffer from a rare degenerative disease destroying their eyesight. Sara is the first one who loses her eyes to this disease. She now lives in darkness, relying on others to help her survive. Julia is still relatively healthy but a horrific tragedy will trigger her illness to advance. Now, she’s in a race with time to find out what happened before she completely goes blind.
Apart from the who-done-it mystery we also have this thought-provoking element of losing your eyesight. You can already hear all the discussions of people watching this and commenting on what would they do in such a situation. In that regard, it reminded me of all those eighties thrillers where someone gets amnesia or some shit like that. So, Julia’s Eyes is actually an excellent psychological thriller. However, you should know that towards the end it becomes almost a true horror movie! So, if you’re looking for something different, do check it out.
Director: Guillem Morales
Writers: Guillem Morales, Oriol Paulo
Cast: Belén Rueda, Lluís Homar, Pablo Derqui, Francesc Orella, Daniel Grao
Fun Facts: This is the second Guillermo del Toro production for Belen Rueda as she already starred in The Orphanage.