Eyes Without a Face is not exactly a “horror” film but It is a brilliantly terrifying and poetic film on the nature of beauty and physical appearances. From its haunting score to its horrendous surgery scene (which made 7 people faint when it premiered back in 1960), it is one of my absolute favorite horror movies because of the way it sticks with you. When I first saw it last year as part of my Horror film class, I fell in love with it. I have seen it 3 more times since last October, and it is one that I am always encouraging people to see.
The film follows a doctor who has been kidnapping young women and removing their faces to graft onto his own daughter who was horribly disfigured in a car accident. The plot is probably the scariest part of the film, so it delves into a more psychological/surgical horror atmosphere.
There are so many striking images in the film that it is, in a way, a work of art. The final shot in the film is definitely one of the most haunting images I have seen in a movie. I cannot spoil it for you, but it is hinted at earlier in the movie, but in between there are some grim images and some pretty gruesome moments. The surgery scene, which the movie is probably most known for, is only a couple minutes long. For the newcomer, it may be too much to handle despite its obviously poor special effects for the time, but for some (like me) it could make you a little woozy.
The film is available on Hulu Plus in the Criterion section. Here is a trailer for you to get a taste of what it is like: