Eyes Without a Face is available to rent or buy now.
Opening in cinemas the same year as Peeping Tom and Psycho, George Franju’s picture courted similar controversy on release to its peers. And yet, despite this, Eyes Without a Face continues to receive far less attention than its horror peers. But, its rich and lasting legacy in horror filmmaking is assured. The complex and multifaceted narrative Franju creates, laced with discussions on love, loss, guilt, and control. Meanwhile, its striking and haunting visuals would inspire a range of directors, from John Carpenter to John Woo and Edgar Wright.
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Often cited as a benchmark in horror, Franju’s film is packed tight with meaning, but not densely so. Here, the tension between its artistic merit and the horrific imagery is sutured together, much like Christiane’s face. While its poetic language uses visual metaphors to deepen its world and the emotional complexity of each character. Here, everyone has a façade, and no one is who they initially seem to be. The final film, demanding multiple viewings, each changing your perception and interpretation of the story at play. Franju’s film is an example of a remarkably complex yet seductively inviting picture – one that represents the power of horror as an art form.