Cinema/TV, Film Notes

FrightFest review – Dawn Breaks Behind the Eyes

My brief note on Dawn Breaks Behind the Eyes

This gothic/psychedelic mood piece has a Cattet-Forzani feel, though its big twists take it into territories adjacent to Black Bear and Climax.  .  Squabbling couple Margot (Luisa Taraz) and Dieter (Frederik von Lüttichau) inherit a Bava-lit castle in the deep dark woods (there’s a Menliff family involved, as in Bava’s The Whip and the Flesh), and haunted by figures who drift through their space … but gradually the stasis of eternity gives way to a free-for-all party.  An upbeat outro finds all the cast and crew (including the caterer) posing for a screen credit while the (excellent) prog rock-style, song-based score is cranked up loud.  Co-written by Lili Villányi and director Kevin Kopacka, who presumably put a lot of themselves into the characters of filmmaker Gregor Grause (Jeff Wilbusch) – a ringer for Justin Theroux in Mulholland Dr. (2001) – and his partner-script collaborator Eva (Anna Platen).   Building its haunted castle identikit-fashion by placing pre-existing elements together in a a new configuration, this is gorgeous, exhilarating metacinema.  I should note that it took me two viewings to warm up to this.

Here’s the FrightFest listing.


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