Promotional film poster
|Directed by||Guillem Morales|
|Music by||Fernando Velázquez|
|Editing by||Joan Manel Vilaseca|
|Running time||117 minutes|
|This section is too long. Consider splitting it into new pages, adding subheadings, or condensing it. (November 2013)|
The film begins with the death of the blind Sara, who appears to be being tormented by an unseen stranger. Heading to her basement to attempt suicide, she curses the hidden tormentor and refuses to give them the satisfaction of seeing her hang herself; but as she tries to remove the noose from her neck, the stool beneath her is kicked away, leaving her to die. Miles away, Sara's twin sister Julia collapses at work, sensing something amiss with her sister.
Finding Sara's corpse, Julia is suspicious, and is repeatedly tormented by the feelnig of another presence nearby. Despite her boyfriend Isaacs insistence that she stop investigating as the stress is causing her eyes to deteriorate fasterr, she lures him to a hotel where Sara stayed after an eye surgery that was not successful.
The following morning, Julia is approached by a janitor who warns her of 'men who live in shadows' and informs her that the parking lot where Sara's mysterious boyfriend kept his van was under 24-hour surveillance. Sending Isaac to collect the tape, he vanishes, and a security guard does as well after Julia goes looking for him.
Julia is convinced that the 'invisible man' stole the tape, sabotaged the cameras and has kidnapped Isaac, though the police are skeptical. Returning to the Hotel Romero to question the janitor, they find him electrocuted in the bath from a fallen light above the water: however, the police declare it accidental. Isaac's credit card is found to have been used in a nearby hotel, however, when Julia and the inspector return to the house to look for any sign of his return; another power cut sends Julia stumbling through the darkness, brushing against what appears to be a man in the basement where Sara died. Upstairs, the inspector finds a note left on the bed, before being alerted by Julia's screams. When he arrives with his torch, Isaac's corpse is found swinging from the spot where Sara died; with Julia cowering, unable to see at all - her vision has gone completely.
At the hospital, the police inform a grieving Julia that the note found on the bed was written in Isaac's hand, declaring that he could not live without Sara, with whom he had been having an affair for six months. However, an eye donor is found, so the operation to save Julia's sight goes ahead. She is told she must wear bandages to protect her eyes for two weeks, and returns to Sara's house despite her doctor's protests with a day carer, Iván, to assist her. Strangely, the key she found, which she believes was left by Sara's boyfriend, has disappeared. At first, Julia is plagued by disorientation and nightmares while convinced that somebody is lurking in the house; but Iván's patience and coaching help her regain her independence. Four days before Julia is due to remove her bandages, a starlit dinner culminates in a kiss, after which Iván leaves hurriedly, uncomfortable. That night, an unseen man almost succeeds in drugging Julia while she sleeps; however, she wakes, panicked, and accidentally hits the intruder as she sits upright. Terrified, she flees to the house of Sara's neighbour, Señor Blasco, who makes advances on her: as she turns to escape his house, she finds the key she had lost hanging on the wall - believing that Blasco is the 'invisible man', she escapes, paging Iván, who finds her hiding outside in the rain and escorts her to his apartment.
In Iván's home, while he goes to get his spare bed for him to sleep in, Julia hears the voice of Blasco's shy daughter Lía, who tells her that her nurse - Iván - is the 'invisible man' who tormented Sara, has walls covered with photographs of Julia and her twin, and now seeks to drug her with sedatives slipped into her tea. Lía tells Julia to meet her in the bathroom moments before Iván returns. Conflicted, Julia goes to the bathroom where, four days early, she tears off her bandages, desperate to see for herself if Lía's word is true. A sudden bang causes Iván to come looking for her. Still in the bathroom, she replies that she heard it as well but did not know what it was. Iván heads out of the apartment momentarily. Julia exits the bathroom and sees Iván's walls are covered with photographs of the twins as well as Lía's bloodied body that is held to the wall with a kitchen knife through her mouth. Iván returns to the apartment to find Julia sobbing in the room with Lia. She pretends that she is crying because her operation has failed and she is blind which he believes. Behind Iván's back, she swaps her drugged tea for his; however, he guesses what has happened and leads her to a chest freezer where the body of the real nurse Iván is hidden. Julia's scream betrays the fact that she can see the corpse, and her ruse is over. Terrified, Julia suffers another attack of blindness.
When her vision returns, Iván has driven Julia back to Sara's house, where she escapes and flees to the house of Señora Soledad. 'Iván' pursues her into the house and addresses Soledad as 'Máma', revealing himself as her missing son Ángel. A candle and pair of reading glasses betray the fact that Soledad is not in fact blind as she knocks Julia out, at which an enraged Ángel almost strangles his mother and injects her eye with a substance designed to break down the optic nerve and render her blind again. Julia awakens in the basement of Sara's house, where Ángel tells her he loves her and wants them to be together as long as her sight is gone; since blind people are the only ones who sense the existence of a man who lives in shadows. Julia escapes and manages to contact the police before being conrnered by Ángel when the polcie finally arrive. She uses a flashlight to show the police a bloodied Ángel hiding in a corner of the room. Finally visible, he is defeated, and slits his own throat while begging the police not to look at him.
At the hospital once more, Julia is told the damage to her new eyes is irreversible and she will not see the dawn. Using her last few hours of vision, she goes to say goodbye to Isaac's corpse, where it is revealed that he donated his eyes to her.
- Belén Rueda as Julia
- Lluís Homar as Isaac
- Clara Segura
- Julia Gutiérrez Caba
- Francesc Orella
- Pablo Derqui
- Joan Dalmau
- Hèctor Claramunt
- Daniel Grao
- Boris Ruiz
- Víctor Benjumea as Vigilante parking
- Carlos Fabregas
- Dani Codina as Enfermero Ivan / sombra
- Òscar Foronda
- Laura Barba
Guillermo del Toro worked a second time as producer for a Spanish genre production and co-produced the film with Joaquín Padró and Mar Targarona for Rodar y Rodar Cine y Televisión. The film starred Belen Rueda and Lluis Homar. Guillem Morales wrote the screenplay co-authored with Oriol Paulo. The film was co-financed by Focus Features International.
The score was created by Barcelona based film composer Fernando Velázquez.
The film premiered on 20 October 2010 in Spain. It was released in the United Kingdom as Julia's Eyes by Optimum Releasing. In Australia it was released as Julia's Eyes by Umbrella Entertainment on 2 June 2011.
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