Film Review: EYES OPEN (2019) (Short Film)

EYES OPEN **** Canada 2019 Dir: Jawed J.S. 6 mins

This offbeat Canadian short is from the promising filmmaker behind ENDING and EYES OPEN (both also from 2019), and pivots around an impressively committed performance from Angela Bell as the only character in the story. A sense of simmering menace accumulates when Bell’s lone woman comes across a stray husky in an autumnal woodland. Time itself seems to shift erratically and hallucinatory, gruesome visuals evolve from the discovery of stringy eyeballs hanging from the trees to Bell herself pulling out her own peepers. In its short framework, EYES OPEN takes a couple of unexpected, brutal turns and delivers an impressive FX shot at the very end. Its meaning invites interpretation, but Bell is genuinely compelling.

Review by Steven West


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