Sunday, October 12, 2008
31 Days of Halloween - Day 12 Movie
Beautifully photographed, "Eyes Without a Face" ("Les Yeux sans Visage") (1962) is a mesmerizing, haunting, dreamlike movie with very little dialogue and excellent performances all around.
Pierre Brasseur plays a doctor responsible for an accident which caused his daughter's face to be completely destroyed except for her eyes. He and his assistant begin kidnapping a series of young women and surgically remove their faces, hoping to successfully graft one onto daughter Christiane, but facing one failure after another and a growing body count.
This is a horror movie as only a country embarassed by the very notion of producing a horror film could create. It's lack of gothic trappings, and obvious horror elements give it a matter of fact surrealness which gives it its hanuting, dreamlike quality. Dr. Genessier is no mad scientist either. He's a normal, talented doctor with his own clinic, and patients he cares for. He's merely driven by guilt and love to do whatever must be done to give his daughter a new face. He doesn't seem to relish what he's doing to his chosen donor women, and in fact regrets their fates. As daughter Christiane, Edith Scob spends most of the movie behind a rigid mask, with most of her performance coming through her eyes and body language. She comes across as a somewhat creepy living doll, or a pretty mime, and is compelling to watch.
This is an excellent movie, and shouldn't be missed.