'The Eyes': Film Review

Good To Be Seen Films
Would be a dud even if its format hadn't been so overused recently.

Nicholas Turturro plays tormenter to a half-dozen victims in Robbie Bryan's game-of-death clunker.

Six strangers sit locked in a room, miserable and forced to reckon with the choices they've made: The action in Robbie Bryan's The Eyes is not entirely unlike the scene in any theater playing it — except there, nobody's threatening to kill viewers who understandably choose to forfeit what they spent on their ticket and leave before the end. A sometimes laughable game-of-death drama that has been beaten to the punch by many other (much better) similar flicks, it is likely to vanish unseen, despite the pull of some established names in its cast.

Nicholas Turturro plays the man who has kidnapped these two women and four men, who awaken in a room and are informed that, at most, one of them will be alive two hours from now. Over a PA, Turturro's disguised voice eventually tells them they've each been seen committing a terrible crime, and have been brought here to pay for it. But first, the prisoners must engage in time-killing get-to-know-you chatter bad enough to make one hope the countdown clock on the wall is ticking at 10 times its usual speed.

Inane and unbelievable squabbling ensues (facing their deaths, these idiots debate the merits of Bob Dylan's songs and give each other relationship advice), and as Bryan's camera continues to circle the room, we sometimes feel we're observing a master class in bad acting. Once the real nature of this imprisonment is revealed halfway through, the discussion gets even more implausible. (To be fair: Is a movie that casts Vincent Pastore as a cowboy really expecting us to believe it?) The eventual action, such as it is, offers little compensation for the script's sins.

Production company: Good to Be Seen Films
Distributor: Parade Deck Films
Cast: Nicholas Turturro, Vincent Pastore, Megan West, Ana Isabelle, Greg Davis Jr., Steven Hauck, Danny Flaherty
Director: Robbie Bryan
Screenwriter: Robert T. Roe
Producers: Robbie Bryan, Spero Stamboulis, Daniel Wulkan
Executive producers: Christie Botelho, Michael J. Burg
Director of photography: David Knox
Production designer: Sarah Edwards
Costume designer: Karin Elgai
Editor: Kala Mandrake
Composer: Xiren Wang
Casting director: Adrienne Stern

95 minutes