[Movies] Halloween Month: Les Yeux Sans Visage (France – 1960 – 88 mins)

Halloween Month, Day 5. Time to continue in my quest of horror movies that marked my mind. Today, I will discuss about a French movie called “Les Yeux Sans Visage” (Eyes Without a Face) from Georges Franju. You can see the trailer below:

The storyline of this movie is fairly elaborated and engaging. It is the story about Christiane Genessier the daughter of Dr. Genessier, a well-known plastic surgeon specialized in facial reconstruction. Christiane is the victim of a car accident resulting into her face badly disfigured. With the help of his assistant, Louise, he is trying to reconstruct a face for her daughter by kidnapping and mutilating young women to be able to perform these face transplants.

Although this movie fails to show any violence or gore effect, it succeeds in bringing fear by the suggestive appearance and tone. We never see Christiane without a face but always get suggested by the victims screams. It has a very agreeable estheticism reminiscent of the period in the French cinematography. If I should cite an inspiration for this movie, I would definitively refer to the creature of Dr. Frankenstein. The concept of a talented physician, a secret lab in a mansion, the presence of an assistant, the whole concept of the biblical passage of “Lazarus”, as the idea of resurrection is metaphorized by the idea to have a new face. The symbolism of face is an important concept in human beings identity.

If there is another movie discussing about face and identity that marked me, I would certainly cite Sam Raimi’s “Darkman” that discuss about similar issues but more as a Comic-based approach (you can feel the artistic blueprint of Raimi in this one that will serve in his making of Spider-Man).

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