Aug 31, 2012

Review: Eyes Beyond - 2010




Eyes Beyond
Director: Daniel Reininghaus
2010
Horror/Short


Two brothers share the same house. One day they invite their next door neighbors over for a nice dinner. What the neighbors don’t realize is that everything is not right with the brothers and they soon find themselves in a game of ultimate humiliation and degradation. They’re at the mercy of their captors and the only thing that can release them from the nightmare is death – or is it?

I’ve seen my fair share of low budget amateurish films and I’m happy to say that this is not one of them. It might have a shoestring budget but it’s far from being amateurish! I was, in fact, somewhat surprised by it and had not expected it to be so revolting. And I mean that in the good sense of the word. I’m happy to compare this to Funny Games, not because it’s very close quality wise, because it’s not, but the storyline kind of revolves around the same basic plot. Not exactly of course but it’s not hard to see the similarities! The violence is not visually explicit put still present in a way that ought to shock even the toughest viewers. There’s both mutilations and sadistic sexual violence in a way that I’ve seldom seen. I’ve got to say that I’m a bit impressed!

But the movie is not one long orgy of violence and I think that is a good thing too. It’s really a three part piece where the second part of the movie explains why the first happened and the third complicates thing so much that you aren’t exactly sure of what really happened at all. You can’t be sure of anything and the final scene really makes the movie what it is. It takes the movie to a whole different level and puts a serious question mark on part of society. It shows that the movie itself is thought through and not just edited into a shocking piece. This movie, even if it’s short (around 30 minutes) has something to say!

It’s not a perfect movie actor wise though. I really liked Robert Nolan’s performance in Worm but here it’s a bit too much. A few overacted scenes make the movie less believable and I think that’s problem the movie has to deal with. This is most evident in the first part of the movie. To see the next door neighbors’ daughter brutally raped in front of her parents is a very strong scene indeed. But the parents (Robert Nolanand Kelly Marie-Murtha) overact a little too much and the scene suffers from it. The daughter – Abigail (Danielle Barker) is very good though!Daniel Reininghaus – the director of the movie, does perhaps the most important role in the film and manage to be diabolical, misunderstood, fragile and sadistic all at the same time. The movie wouldn’t have worked out as nice without him!

It seems like the movie has received a lot of rewards on the festival circuit and it is, as I first mentioned, quite a big difference between this movie and the typical low budget (amateurish) horror film. Because even if the bottom line might be a little ambivalent it should appeal to both fans of violent cinema and those who like their movies to have a point. And this film most certainly has a point in the social society debate!