Two Eyes Staring (2010)

Hadewych Minis, Barry Atsma, Isabelle Stokkel, Charlotte Arnoldy,
Moving into her parents' mansion after she inherits it, a woman, her husband and their daughter stumble upon a dark and terrible family secret.
  • 5.5 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Paulo van Vliet, Writer:
  • Elbert van Strien, Director:
  • Claudia Brandt, Producer:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

8 / 10

You've seen it all before, but not like this

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

8 / 10

a mixture of del Toro like film material

A mixture of del Toro like film material, not very original when i saw this one at the international premiere at the Edinburgh International film festival 2010.

A film worth seeing but nothing new if you are accustomed to films like the Devils backbone and the orphanage, (but not as good as either) Not bad from a country not known for horror/thriller films.

There's even talk of a Hollywood remake with an 'A' list star. The director wouldn't say who but that wont be as good as this original as with most Hollywood remakes it will be over the top and most likely rubbish.

4 / 10

Simply boring.

Even if the movie was OK as in an good production, good camera work, OK actors, the story heads to a point that you will not believe. I mean whoever wrote the script either gave up or simply had a deadline that clearly he could never hit properly so the last pages were written just for a "full" script.

This is my main complaint about the movie and whoever saw it, will understand, I mean what where they thinking?!? How could they move on with such a plot, a story used by so many before only this one ending like a train wreck. Anyway, there are far more better European horrors out there, go take a look, especially in the North. You'll find something worth your while.

Cheers!

5 / 10

A step in the right direction for Dutch horror movies,but still not quite there!

For a country that hasn't made a lot of horror movies this movie sure is a huge improvement. But it still needs a lot of work. The slow buildup was pretty good and provided just enough tension to make it interesting. However there were not enough scary moments to qualify as a real horror. As a drama this also fails since most of the characters don't act as they would in real life. It was very hard for me to have sympathy for the mother. Since it was obvious she wasn't exactly right in the head from the start. If this fact wasn't entirely clear than some events would have worked better. A lot of events in the movie also relied too much on coincidence and convenience. The cousin is pretty vague throughout the movie until the end. Christine and her odd behavior towards her husband and her daughter should have at least made the husband curious to find out what is going on. But he makes no attempt whatsoever. Another example is the fact that both parents suddenly have to work when previously only one did. Logically it doesn't even make sense since they didn't have to pay rent and had more to spare. Plot wise it is understandable since they had to create the opportunity for the daughter Lisa to experience the things she does. Of course these are all tactics to build up the tension even more but to me it had quite the opposite effect. These superficial tactics would have worked better if the movie had other things to offer. Like really scary scenes or imagery that would suggest or give another perspective on the events. The lack of actual plot or character development made it a predictable affair to the experienced horror fan. And that really is a bloody shame since this movie had the potential to become a classic.

3 / 10

Some movies go from 0 to 100, this one does it the other way around

Well...

I still don't know what to say. The movie start out pretty cool with a few very good shock effects, "creepy little kid galore", and then... Well... It doesn't built tension, it releases it. In my opinion, the movie gets lamer with every minute...

What you get, though, is descent camera work and music. The actors look like they know what they do, although I really can't recommend the German dub, this plain sucks. Yes, I watches it German, and the voices sound stupid most of the time. And with stupid, I mean REALLY stupid. Tried a bit of the movie in it's original language, and it sounded better, although I didn't understand very much, the voices seemed much more believable.

If you ask me, the movies biggest flaw is that it starts REALLY creepy and after maybe half of the movie, it tries to develop into some sort of drama. And for the whole second half of the movie, it doesn't what what it wants to be: horror movie or drama.

And yes, with this being a "new age" horror movie, you will (of course) get a major plot twist towards the end. Which doesn't save the movie from being boring, except for the first 15 or 20 minutes or so.

Don't buy it! Go rent it out instead. If you wanna see creepy little kids, then you're right, but turn the player off after 60 minutes. Or go for "The Orphanage".