117 minutes| Spain| 2010| Subtitled| Colour| Anamorphic| Dolby Digital Stereo| 35mm

By turns terrifying, visually arresting and even disarmingly romantic, this psychological thriller from the producers of The Orphanage underlines the sheer expertise contemporary Spanish filmmakers display in turning out one stylish shocker after another. Here, the storyline and direction certainly warrant comparisons with prime Brian De Palma, conjuring up twin sisters suffering from a degenerative eye disease and being stalked by an assailant lurking in the shadows. When her sibling is found hanged, Julia (Belen Rueda) is convinced she was murdered, and despite the objections of her solicitous and loving husband (Lluis Homar from Pedro Almodovar’s Broken Embraces) starts investigating her demise – even though emotional distress only worsens the condition of her own sight. Director Guillem Morales’ elegantly composed approach finds an ideal balance between genre-savvy pastiche and serious intent, while the guiding hand of producer Guillermo del Toro (creator of Pan’s Labyrinth) seems evident in the palpable emotional vulnerability of menaced heroine and disturbed stalker alike. (Notes by Trevor Johnston).

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