Julia's Eyes
(Los Ojos de Julia)

Julia's Eyes (Los Ojos de Julia)
Made in: Spain
Language: Spanish
Director: Guillem Morales
Starring: Belen Rueda, Lluís Homar, Francesc Orella, Julia Gutíerrez Caba, Pablo Derqui, Dani Codina, Andrea Hermosa, Boris Ruiz
Year: 2010

Synopsis: After the death of her reclusive and blind twin sister Sara, Julia (Belen Rueda) is told that the unfortunate incident was nothing more than a suicide. However, Julia's gut instinct suggests otherwise and she starts believing that foul play was involved.

Herself suffering from a degenerative disease in the optic nerves of both eyes, Julia, like her sister, will also inevitably lose her sight. The stress of her loss only exacerbates her condition, which is compounded by the fact that her husband Isaac (Lluís Homar) and the police dismiss her suspicions.

But by independently questioning those who knew Sara, Julia learns that her sister had been seeing a man…a man that, strangely enough, no one seems to remember anything about. After encountering a shadowing figure that is apparently stalking her, Julia believes that this man holds the answer to Sara's mysterious death.

Her own investigation quickly puts her in jeopardy, as people around her start turning up dead. Is Julia up against a supernatural entity, or an elusive serial killer?

The Good: The first third of the film is really good. It is genuinely scary, intriguing, and builds the story up as a Stephen King-like thriller. It's smart, psychologically effective, and will keep you on edge.

In the beginning, the story has a similar feel to the film The Orphanage, both of which were produced by Guillermo Del Toro and starred Belen Rueda. Rueda again shines as the protagonist, and the rest of the cast is strong as well.

The Bad: Unfortunately, the story falls apart after the first third. Although the intensity remains consistent, the big twist in the end is such a letdown that I thought I was watching an M. Night Shyamalan movie.

There are too many issues with logic, such as a near-blind Julia insisting on staying in the same house where she believes her sister was murdered, while knowing that she's being stalked by her sister's killer

On top of that, there are too many slapped-together "surprises" designed to explain every minor character's involvement. The end result is contrived, confusing, overlong, and ultimately disappointing.

Who would like this film: Julia's Eyes is meant for fans of thrillers and horror movies. Visually, it's really effective and it's undeniably scary in parts. But a mediocre ending unfortunately makes this yet another forgettable "escape the psycho killer" movie with a plot driven by characters who do unrealistically stupid things.

(2 out of 4 stars)

Review written by: Joe Yang

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