Simon's Horrible House of Horror
“A pretty good psychodrama. It’s well acted, Shapiro is by turns creepy and pathetic while Cook is so unbearably cocky that you just want to slap him and grind his mobile into dust. Overall the production design has a well-imagined sense of sleazy agoraphobia thanks to the imaginative use of lighting and musical score…we give Eye Without a Face a 555/666.”
Straburst Magazine (UK)
Anybody mistaking this for the classic French film Eyes Without a Face (1960) is in for a surprise. Despite the similar title, this is in no way a remake or re-imagining of the earlier film. And the clever titling is only the first of several surprises in store. This Eye Without a Face refers to a webcam, the one eye we often overlook, and the one that sees a lot of our daily lives....This is a horror film that draws on both voyeurism and the slasher genre, but to a larger degree is a character study of a vulnerable person’s psychological breakdown. The emotionally crippled Henry is sympathetically played by Dakota Shapiro in a memorable performance. His counterbalance is roommate Eric, a loud, brash outgoing YouTube 'celebrity', trying to get his acting break to make some money to pay the rent. Vlada Verevko dominates every scene she appears as Laura with a menacingly icy allure.The film can easily be described as a Rear Window for the digital age, and justifiably so. Producer, director and writer Ramin Niami has clearly taken a slice of inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock and has built a twisted story upon it that is both a little bit familiar and very original. This is a textbook exercise in tension, paranoia and unease worthy of the Master himself, and is a timely lesson in making sure your webcam is off. A cautionary tale for the modern age.
Watch or Pass
I did like the actors in this film: the dynamic between Henry and his best friend / roommate Eric is fun to see, and I liked seeing Eric try to break Henry out of his shell.<br /> The film bills itself as a modern Rear Window and I can definitely see the resemblance. The window into people's lives through their webcams is a clever one, as is the ability to observe them during their best and worst moments. And, like the main character, I did like the film's restraint that was taken in the observation. This premise could have provided an easy window into a more exploitative film, but Eye Without A Face lives true to its main character…. Eye Without A Face is a novel take on the voyeuristic film, with a...main character that is more empathetic than I would have expected, and showcases some fresh young talent in the process.
The film does have that unnerving feeling of voyeurism that works perfectly for the content of the film...Shapiro and Cook work brilliantly on screen with each other… This is a film that is an interesting watch, with the subject matter it really works well as a psychological thriller as we delve deeper into Henry’s world of watching people on the screen and his nightmares of his past that are plaguing him at night... For those that the Hitchcock style of filmmaking then it will be one that you enjoy, Eye Without A Face is a film that I quite enjoyed watching.
Sci Fi Bulletin
Writer/director Ramin Niami’s psychological thriller owes more than a little to Rear Window in its tale of an unwitting witness to a murder, but it’s an exciting ride, carried by two strong leads...A well-made, pacy thriller.
``Eye Without A Face” represents that all-seeing laptop camera lens peering into what should be a private space, quietly invading without making a sound, and possibly turning into the big brother you never wanted. Ramin Niami’s written and directed voyeuristic thriller plays into that unobstructed power over someone by an antisocial hermit and the more that hermit stays reclusive in his shell the more he feeds into his feed of women, becoming more delusional in his attachment for them...The invasion of privacy leaves chills with an overwhelming uncomfortable take on the voyeur thriller... The cinematography is the debut feature film work of Sideshow Films’ Tara Violet who has clever POV shots of characters in front of the camera & characters sitting in front of another camera while acting their individual personalities by a high resolution webcam. Among using different types of distortions to render Henry’s mindset, Violet also takes a page out of Terry Gilliam with a wide-angle lens and touch of a Dutch angle to compound the crazy factor.``
An odd but lively mixture of slasher tropes and slacker comedy. Ramin Niami’s bric-a-brac assemblage of webcam thriller, sitcom and slasher film is certainly one of the more original. Played with excellent relatability by Shapiro and Cook, these bits are easily the most successful part of the film...Eye Without a Face is a fine showcase for the two leads. Cook is irresistibly crass and confident; the elven-featured Shapiro, who looks like a young Jude Law, surely has a new-generation Marvel superhero with his name on it.”
To Tony Productions
There are many great moments and the acting across the board is pretty solid. The highlight being Luke Cook as Eric who gets to just have fun being the struggling actor roommate. Visually too the film is solid, with the cinematography by Tara Violet Niami shining throughout the runtime.”
With an increasing amount of our individual lives taking place online, privacy itself has devolved into an uncomfortable form of currency: it’s this dangerous double-edged digital-age blade that Gravitas Ventures sharpens with their latest release, Eye Without a Face. There are many powerful statements that writer-director Ramin Niami poses in Eye Without a Face-ruminations on reality versus fantasy, the illusory nature of the online experience, the use, abuse, and ultimate loss of anonymity in cyberspace, the fracturing of the family unit. Tight, steady-handed directing infuses the storyline with a suffocating, claustrophobic dread, and throughout the film there’s extensive use of clever plot misdirection and directorial legerdemain that shifts the audience’s attention away from the movie’s true culprit.
Horror Geek Life
The best direction that Niami gives us are tight and intimate close-ups of Henry, reminiscent of Jonathan Demme’s work in The Silence of the Lambs.
Battle Royale With Cheese
``Eye Without a Face is a familiar story brought up to date for the modern age and does so surprisingly well, with a great script, likeable characters and a thrilling plot. The idea to update Rear Window and to put it on a computer screen is a great idea and is done so easily that it’s hard to believe that nobody had ever done it before....Shapiro and Cook... have a great chemistry and both play their parts well. The former displays a nervous, anxiety ridden character and the latter is so obnoxious and self-absorbed that it feels like it shouldn’t work. Yet the pair are good on screen and the audience will believe in their unlikely friendship...Eye Without a Face is well told, ambitious and daring to take on such a familiar story.``
“Eye Without a Face is enthralling, chilling and dark. Dakota Shapiro carries this film and conveys Henry’s isolation and crippling anxiety with his very expressive face, especially his eyes. It’s no mean feat to make us actually care about a character who spies on women without their knowledge. Luke Cook does a good job portraying the extremely annoying Eric and Vlada Verevko (Laura), Ashley Elyce Rogers (Tessa), Sarah Marie (Ella) and Evangeline Neuhart (Sky) all give solid performances as Henry’s unknowing friends.”
Eye for Film UK
“Henry's illness brings an interesting dynamic to the film, making him a more sympathetic character despite his unethical behaviour. (Luke) Cook has real talent and this role gives him room to make use of it. As in the Hitchcock classic, the supporting characters help to balance the film and substantiate its themes, all the while implicating viewers in Henry's voyeurism. Director Ramin Niami gradually breaks away from the limiting form of the static shots but this seems to reflect the direction of Henry's attention, telling us something about his character.”
The Wasteland Reviews
“The film has a more atmospheric feel to it as it builds tension, but the finale does deliver some slasher thrills as well. Niami delivers a unique look to the film (even with a drastic and unnerving Dutch angle from the jump of the film. Luke Cook of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina fame (has) some solid moments throughout the film.”
“A lot can happen in a week . . . especially when you are being spied on. This is the reality-twisting gut punch that is Eye Without a Face, the new thriller from Writer/Director Ramin Niami..Eye Without a Face, thanks to some crisp cinematography from Tara Violet Niami, is both mesmerizing and claustrophobic, giving even the viewer a sense of being watched. Eye Without a Face takes its Rear Window leanings and incorporates a whole bunch of modern tech into its murderous gears...Spellbinding and on point with surefooted style, Eye Without a Face is a solid genre offering for those who like to have their views shaken up. Featur(es) a hypnotizing score from Charlie Clouser.”
“Ramin Niami makes us question our relationship with technology through his new thriller/horror film Eye Without a Face. Seriously, I purchased a webcam cover for my laptop. I’d never Amazoned something so fast in life.” (from intro to Interview with Ramin Niami)
Reel News Daily
“(Luke) Cook provides the much-needed lightness to the dark of this film. Dakota Shapiro as Henry is simply astounding…The cinematography from Tara Violet Niami is striking. Thoughtful use of color and lighting make for some extraordinary close-ups, especially of Henry’s eyes. It’s clear to see the Rear Window inspiration in writer-director Ramin Niami‘s screenplay. The tiny flashes of Henry’s backstory heighten the tension. So does Charlie Clouser‘s score. If you think you know where this is going, think again. There is a reason we’re told to put tape over our laptop cameras. We love online these days, much to our own detriment. The key to Eye Without A Face is Henry’s largely unaddressed trauma. It is the complexity of his nature that makes this film so killer.”
Geek Vibes Nation
Eye Without a Face’ Is an Unsettling Creepy Thriller That Keeps You Engaged: In case Netflix’s Black Mirror hasn’t freaked you out enough over how technology can be used for bad, new indie film Eye Without a Face definitely will. Henry’s voyeuristic tendencies have major and serious implications. Henry’s agoraphobic affliction could make him a sympathetic character, but his peeping Tom habits are certain to turn anyone off of liking him. This is something Shapiro does well, finding this balance of a withdrawn young man who is feeling the pressure of this essential addiction that he has to watch women on the internet. Speaking of someone else who does their job well in this film – Luke Cook as Eric. The “comic relief”. Entertaining and engaging, Eric is a good uneasy pair to Henry as at first, it seems as if neither sees a problem with what they’re doing. However, when things begin to get serious, they’re both necessary reactions to the events that are happening in the film. Eye Without a Face is a well-done suspenseful indie film that I would recommend to anyone looking to feel a little uncomfortable.” Rating: ⅘
Joseph B. Mauceri
“Director Ramin Niami does an amazing job of getting so many different angles in Henry’s room...There is enough energy in the cutting to keep the viewer engaged, especially in some of the more intense dramatic moments..Niami does a skilled job of keeping the film engaging. Actor Dakota Shapiro... brings a nice level of timid-ness and menace to the role. You get the sense that there is something dark dwelling just below the surface. It’s just about on par with Perkins’ Norman Bates...Actress Vlada Verevko gives an excellent performance as Laura, the woman Henry suspects as being a killer. She gives it this predatory feline quality where you really are never sure what she’s done. It’s a lot of fun to watch. The rest of the cast is a talented collection of actresses that create these unique individuals (who) Henry is drawn to for a variety of reasons. EYE WITHOUT A FACE is an interesting character study with a few macabre twists and turns. It features solid production value, an interesting story, and a talented cast. The performances keep the viewer invested in seeing the story through to the end. Thumbs Up.”
“Dakota Shapiro gives us an absolutely stunning performance.”-from the Intro to Interview with Dakota Shapiro
“Eye Without A Face Is A Must See! I friggin loved this movie. Henry, played by Dakota Shapiro, is the perfect antagonist. He played him perfectly. Awkward, shy, tortured and suffering. I also loved the way he was filmed. Close up on his eyes, the window to the soul as he watches over his “friends”, the women he watches from his room...It is creepy AF as this voyeur taps into their webcams and spies on unsuspecting women as they live their daily lives.”
(RE) Search My Trash
“This is a really cool thriller, especially since it manages to make its rather far-fetched premise 100% believable, and manages to make its deeply flawed protagonist totally relatable, despite his at best questionable actions. And while a very clever script sees to it that the tension remains high throughout, a strong small ensemble cast keeps things grounded throughout, making this pretty awesome genre entertainment.”
“Eye Without a Face walks the fine line between truth, reality and madness brilliantly and so does actor Dakota Shapiro in the role of Henry. It’s hard not to be impressed with how both he and writer/director Ramin Niami have crafted a film that feels as unstable as its main character. Both character and film getting more and more subtly out of control as time goes on – with a superb, nerve-wracking moment as Henry, his roommate Eric and us, the audience, are left watching Laura “poison” her nephew on camera… or does she? Eye Without a Face is a superb giallo-esque thriller that offers an interesting insight into our connection with the online and offline world.” **** 4/5
Heaven of Horror
Andrew T. Marshall
“Enter, Eye Without a Face, the psychological thriller that extracts and integrates the better features of these films (REAR WINDOW DISTURBIA, HUSH, THE STRANGERS, THE DEN, BLACK MIRROR’s “Shut Up and Dance”) to produce a Criminal-Minds-adjacent celluloid (sans the FBI). Eye Without a Face is a film worth watching, brilliantly led by Shapiro’s Henry and complemented by Cook’s Eric. Henry is creepy, but the thoughtful ways in which Niami humanizes this character, so that the viewer may actually mourn for Henry’s seemingly involuntary hermitage, required such a delicate balance that could easily topple. In the context of Henry’s life, the incorporation of…modern elements into the lives of his “friends,” is such an interesting concept, allowing Eye Without a Face to differentiate itself from its cinematic predecessors.” **** 4/5
“Like Hitchcock’s Rear Window, this film burns into your brain: at once a cautionary tale and a nightmare on screen, but one thing is certain: anyone who watches this will never leave their computer camera uncovered again.”
``Featur(es) stunning cinematography by Tara Violet Niami, and a mesmerizing score by Charlie Clouser”
Movie Reviews 101
“Eye Without a Face is a creepy horror (film) which will also keep you wondering what is truly going on. Dakota Shapiro gives us a great performance, be it the struggles with his health or his concerning approach to who he is watching. 4 stars``
“Dakota Shapiro does a good job displaying the weight of the social anxiety the character feels. The roommate, Eric (Luke Cook), does a great job at being a fun goofball without feeling annoying or forced. His character is the comedic balance to anxiety-ridden Henry. The technical aspects, from the cinematography to lighting to production design as well as color palette, are all great. That detail put into creating the unique lives of the girls on the webcams creates a commendable level of authenticity. The performances of Shapiro and Cook are honest and committed, they act as the foundation the film rests on.”
Film Press Slovakia
“There is a Hitchcock feel, just instead of a courtyard window, we have personal webcams here.”