A father takes his wife, two sons, a friend and his daughter on a hiking trip in the woods. After a long search for a spot to set up camp, the father finds a perfect place overlooking a ... See full summary »
Chris W. Mitchell
Gijs Scholten van Aschat,
A group of young people head off on a vacation. When the car breaks down they're forced to find help. In the woods they find a house and some angry dogs which were by their car too. They ... See full summary »
Erwin van den Eshof
Everon Jackson Hooi,
Intertwined tales of three families who grow up on the same street, focusing on the relationship of fathers and sons. The first section features Anthony and Jenny and traces the father-son ... See full summary »
A drama about a fortysomething man who entertains fantasies of a different life. Staging his apparent death, he moves to an island but pines for his former existence, and wonders if he could return to it.
Sara de Roo,
Laywer David Bottcher, (Christian Berkel) after a year long absence has been hired by a new firm, to act as its liquidator, as the company is deemed unprofitable. After being out of work a ... See full summary »
Palermo in the 1970s. The Ciraulos are modest scrap dealers whose uneventful lives are turned upside down the day their youngest daughter is accidentally killed by clumsy killers. Their ... See full summary »
Angèle, a beautiful young woman with a past, arrives in a small fishing harbor in Normandy. She meets Tony, a professional fisherman, who finds himself attracted to her although he dislikes... See full summary »
Nine-year-old Lisa discovers her sinister new friend is the ghost of the dead twin of Lisa's mother. Lisa's father also begins to suspect his wife of hiding a terrible secret, resulting in deadly consequences... Written by
Two Eyes Staring is billed as 'the scariest Dutch horror film since The Vanishing.' This, it transpires in the introductory session with director Elbert van Strien, is not that hard, as it's very nearly the only Dutch horror film made since.
Nine-year-old Lisa (Isabelle Stokkel) is a solemn, thoughtful little girl with a big imagination; a quiet, watchful little body who sees and hears more than she should. Not the kind of child best suited to living in a vast, creepy mansion in the middle of nowhere, plagued by spook, unexplained creaks and groans. But when her estranged grandmother dies, leaving her mother just such a property, guess what happens But are the eerie and disturbing events that unfold the consequence of Lisa's fertile fantasy life, fuelled by her unnerving surroundings and the mysteries shrouding her mother's hidden past, or are there, in fact, supernatural forces at work, feeding on the sins of the past and revisiting them on the next generation? But there's more to this film than hollow-eyed ghost girls, perilous forays into the cellar and things that go bump in the night. Like Rosemary's Baby or previous EIFF showing Joshua, Two Eyes Staring is a fascinating and uncomfortable expose of the sometimes uneasy relationships that exist between parent and child. Lisa's father Paul (Barry Atsma) is by turns best buddy and stern disciplinarian, while mother Christine (Hadewych Minis) struggles to balance her career ambitions with bringing up a child who reminds her uncomfortably of demons from her past, and is in turn resentful, doting and unnerved by her quietly staring offspring.
Okay, so there isn't a lot here you haven't seen before. Spooky houses, dark pasts and creepy children are hardly novel. But unexpected twists in the plot, a fantastic use of music and sound effects to create an atmosphere of unease and some solid central performances all serve to make Two Eyes Staring well worth seeing.
But is it scary? Perhaps better ask the two girls sitting next to me, who leapt out of their skins on regular intervals. For them it was less Two Eyes Staring, more like Two Eyes Shut
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