Popcorn Frights Review: ‘The Eyes Below’ Will Have You Checking Underneath Your Bed
Alexis Bruchon’s The Eyes Below is an experimental horror film that for the vast majority of the runtime, takes place in a bed. On top of that, there is almost no dialogue beyond screams, grunts, and exasperated sighs. This isn’t going to be for everyone, but it was a fascinating watch. Eugène (played by Vinicius Coelho) gets into bed but before he can fall asleep, he’s accosted by a seemingly human shape (played by Pauline Morel). This sets in motion the rest of the film as Eugène tries to stay safe and figure out what is going on. The visuals are surreal at times as we fall into this waking nightmare. The bed becomes much more than a bed requiring Eugène to explore his surroundings and his mind. Perspective and time are also used uniquely. Are the events unfolding in a linear time? Has this nightmare happened before? Those are questions at play for Eugène.
The story reminded me of childhood fears. Where imagination runs wild, objects change shape and size. One moment you’re safe, tucked into bed and the next you’re watching shadows coming to get you. That fear when you turn off the lights and immediately begin running up the stairs or across the room and jumping into bed. You know there’s nothing there but your brain says what if? Pauline is especially creepy as the ever-present, contorting, dripping thing who always makes an appearance at the most optimal time. Given the lack of dialogue and a single location, there were a couple sequences that felt repetitive or dragged on a bit too long. The ending also left me more confused than anything about what I just witnessed, but in a way that made me want to start the film over to see what clues I missed along the way. Everything seems to have a very specific purpose.
Alexis Bruchon has an interesting style that makes the most of the single location to capture a sense of dread. The visuals are the focal point and a real treat. I was impressed at the way bedsheets could be turned into something so unnerving. The Eyes Below was funded on Kickstarter and is the second part of a three-film opus that Bruchon has planned. These films are based on the concept of “a character, a place, a story”. The first film The Woman with Leopard Shoes was released in 2020, which I am now interested in checking out. Overall, if you’re looking for a horror movie that is a little weird and unusual then I recommend giving The Eyes Below a watch.
Check out the trailer below