Tim Purtell
October 22, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Eyes Without a Face

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
88 minutes
performer
Alida Valli
director
Georges Franju
genre
Drama

We gave it an A-

Shot in bleak, wintry black and white, French director Georges Franju’s quietly disturbing creeper, Eyes Without a Face — about an outwardly respectable doctor who commits monstrous acts in an obsessive quest to restore his daughter’s hideously disfigured face — is one of those rare horror films that induces discomfort by showing practically nothing. That is, until one shockingly graphic scene in which we witness a victim’s face being slowly and delicately flayed from her body. Depicted with a cool, clinical distance, it’s a grisly jolt that perfectly underscores just how depraved a delusional man and his once-innocent daughter have become for the sake of her salvation.

EXTRAS Franju’s elegant but gruesome 1949 documentary short, Blood of the Beasts, about the Paris slaughterhouses, is the highlight. But be warned: It’s really gruesome.

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