|Belen Rueda was hoping that her Derren Brown routine would get her out of making horror movies|
Going into Julia's Eyes expectations were high as the last film to get the 'Guillermo Del Toro' presents above the title was the outstanding The Orphanage, which was one of my favourite films of 2008.
Julia might not be able to reach the dizzying heights of excellence as The Orphanage but director Guillem Morales certainly displays some talent behind the camera, creating a thriller that evokes a similar sense of blindness and helplessness that featured in Wait Until Dark starring Audrey Hepburn as a blind woman whose apartment is terrorised. He uses various in-camera effects to give the audience a sense of Julia's deteriorating vision, frames the action is obscure peoples faces, and during the film's climax, features a sequence that takes a beat from Rear Window and cranks it up to 11.
It does feel a little too long however and the pacing could have been tightened up once the "invisible man" is revealed. Plus there is epilogue that some will find far too schmaltzy compared to the tone of the rest of the film, but your acceptance of this will greatly depend on how much you buy into the central relationship between Julia and her husband. Personally, in a couple of short scenes they provide a complete back story to their relationship and a convincing sense of true love.
As with The Orphanage, the film's true strength lies in Belen Rueda, once again delivering a performance that grounds the film in reality despite the weird going-ons and takes the audience along the journey with her. The only fault I could find with her was that her impressive and ample bosum kept causing a distraction to me... but that is a problem I'm seeking help with!
Another welcome antidote to the generic thrillers and horrors that Hollywood are producing. It will be on limited release so "see it while you can" - ha ha ha