Julia’s Eyes (2011)

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Blindness is a horror mechanic underused in the genre, and ‘Julia’s Eyes’ makes a very good use of it. Deceptively sedate and blood-free for much of the runtime, it turns up the heat towards the end, delivering some terrific scares as it races towards the denouement.

Julia, played by the beautiful Belen Rueda, is suffering from the same debilitating eye disease as her sister, who recently committed suicide. Sensing foul play, and with suspicion of involvement from a shadowy stranger, Julia sets out to uncover what may or may not be the truth behind her sister’s death, even as her eyesight progressively worsens.

‘Julia’s Eyes’ is suitably atmospheric, shot with admirably oppressive and claustrophobic cinematography by Oscar Faura. It’s skilful and confident enough to attempt a few scares even in daytime scenes and succeed, although credibility is stretched in a few instances, such as the scares in the graveyard and the parking lot. What lingers in the mind, however, are a couple of rather graphic scenes towards the end, one paying homage to an infamous scene from a certain legendary Spanish classic, and the other recalling, in a strange way, ‘Terminator 2 (1991)’ It drags unnecessarily during the denouement, coming close to derailing the carefully invested tension of the previous hour, but the payoff of the final scene, a memorable mixture of ‘M (1931)’ and ‘Silence of the Lambs (1991)’ is worth the trouble. Unnerving and suspenseful, ‘Julia’s Eyes’ overcomes its uneven and illogical moments to deliver very satisfying horror.

7/10

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