Franju's "fantastique" fright night film holds up, whether you want to see it as a pure sensory exercise in Euro-horror aesthetics—an irrational vibe, uncanny imagery, haunted and stark sound design—or an allegory in which an isolated woman with a soul but no human face anguishes over the price to pay to get one. Telling note, for this idiosyncratic horror show: the police and male hero make no difference at all.
A good example of something transcending its genre, or perhaps not conforming to viewer expectations. Jarre's fairground score provides the right cue to this meticulous ride on a most peculiar mechanism comprising fairy tale, surgical horror and, less satisfying, police procedural. It provokes more than just revulsion with its sly takes on obsession, misplaced love and control. A fascinating adjunct to Frankenstein.
Franju's directorial style isn't lyrical or atmospheric, but languid, dull, and needs some editing and additional punch. The characterization isn't that great either: feeling like Venn-diagram of melodramatic character points that its plot has to hit to function, but not deviating or lingering from it. Eyes Without a Face may have been influential in its story and content, but it has also been improved on since.
Héritier d'une tradition de l'épouvante qui remonte au temps du cinéma muet, Georges Franju va jusqu'au bout de l'horreur et de la folie (avec talent) parsemant de séquences poétiques et symboliques, sa plongée dans la noirceur et l'épouvante. Un incontestable chef-d'oeuvre d'angoisse, de tension et de frissons. A noter l'exceptionnelle prestation d'Edith Scob, une actrice à redécouvrir ! www.cinefiches.com
I've seen this movie with my class last year and we weren't ready to this. A frightening movie certainly a bit old but careful of the details such as the metaphor of when the doctor seems to go down to hell just by parking is car in the garage... Quite unsettling