The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

  • India EisleyJason Isaacs...
  • Mystery & SuspenseThriller
  • Assaf Bernstein
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Cairo 360
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Look Away: Open Everything

Many viewers find open-ended films to be very annoying, while others really enjoy the room for speculation. But what about a movie that has an open everything? Look Away is not satisfied with just an open ending; indeed, this film will have you speculating for the entirety of its run time.

Look Away follows bullied and distressed high school senior Maria (India Eisley) as she attempts to face the merciless harassment at school and the toxic criticisms of her father (Jason Isaacs). At a low point, Maria starts seeing her reflection move and talk and eventually has long conversations with her image. Maria’s reflection explains to her that she can solve all her troubles, if only they would switch places (Maria will be inside the mirror, and her reflection would control her body). Maria trusts her reflection, and strikes the deal.

The concept of the plot is interesting, especially with the unanswered question of whether or not Maria has snapped; we don’t know if Maria is simply hallucinating or if the reflection is some sort of supernatural entity. Indeed, it is implied by the film that Maria is haunted by her deformed twin; on the other hand, her tough life makes it seem like the whole mirror reflection ordeal might just be a sign of a severe psychotic episode. In any case, the entire concept is quite scary because people do look into mirrors all the time, and some even talk to their reflections.

That being said, the execution of the concept is not as scary; aside from a mirror sequence, only a couple of creepy scenes stand out and altogether these scenes are not frightening enough to make Look Away qualify as a horror movie. Additionally, the pace of the plot is not fast enough for it to be a shocking and horrific feature. While Look Away is not the most handsome of features, as most second-class horror films are, it does manage to experiment with certain unique camera movements and distinct effects, showing the filmmaker’s attempt at achieving some sort of creativity.

The film’s little life comes from Maria’s relationship with others, especially her father which is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the movie because of the extreme, and almost disgusting, nature of her father’s behaviour.

As for the acting, India Eisley had an uneven performance; she excels in one scene and not so much in others. However, Eisley was able to make the distinction between her character and her character’s reflection when it came to facial expressions, body language, and attitude, which is a significant plus for the young actress.  Jason Isaacs was amazing to the point where you will physically feel your hatred for him as it builds up inside you. Isaacs also added depth to his extreme character, making him very realistic and therefore adding so much to the film.

Is it the best horror movie? No. Is it weird and different? Very much so, yes. Should you watch it? Completely up to you.

Like This? Try

Jennifer's Body (2009), It Follows (2014), Teeth (2007).

360 Tip

Maria spelled backwards is Airam, which is her mirror image's name in this film. This may or may not indicate that, instead of a twin, Ariam may be a darker part of herself that takes over.

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