TWO EYES STARING (aka ZWART WATER, 2010)
Directed by Elbert van Strien
Written by Elbert van Strien and Paulo van Vliet
Starring Barry Atsma, Hadewych Minis, Isabelle Stokkel
Find out more about this film here!
Fans of THE OTHERS and THE ORPHANGE will want to be sure to seek out TWO EYES STARING, a new film from Belgium which specializes in subversive horrors and slow chills. Add a creepy black-eyed girl popping up in the background and out of the darkness any old time and you’ve got this reviewer scared. Filmmaker Elbert van Strien is conservative with the frights at first, but when they do occur in this terrifying little thrill-ride, the payoff is satisfying.
Little Lisa (Isabelle Stokkel) doesn’t want to move into her grandmother’s home, but her mother, Kristine (Hadewych Minis) and father Paul (Barry Atsma) demand it. Though Kristine’s relationship with her mother was strained, the family move in and immediately Lisa finds the place unnerving. First there are just noises in the basement and whispers under the bed, but soon, Lisa befriends Karen, a ghostly girl who doesn’t seem to have Lisa’s best interests in mind. What plays out might be considered a mix of a ghost story and a psychological horror yarn, with the film utilizing the best aspects of both. The chills are genuine and the climax both shocked and surprised me.
TWO EYES STARING is a bold film, taking risks with the cast in a story with unexpected twists and one where no character is truly safe. There are moments of predictability (you know when they introduce a pet rabbit into the mix, it ain’t going to survive long—rabbits just don’t live long in horror films), but there are enough original thrills and well-paced scenes of sheer terror to make TWO EYES STARING a must for those who love to be scared by things that go bump (or whatever the Dutch translation of bump is) in the night.