Open Your Eyes (aKa Abre los ojos) is a 1997 thriller film co-written, co-scored & directed by Alejandro Amenábar (The Others, The Sea Inside, Regression, & Agora). It was co-written by Mateo Gil (Thesis, Nobody knows Anybody, The Method, & Realive). It was produced by José Luis Cuerda (The Others, The Blind Sunflowers, Butterfly, & Thesis) & Fernando Bovaira (Regression, Cannibal, Dance with the Devil, Biutiful, & Vanilla Sky). It made $370,720 at the box office. It was remade in America in 2001 under the title Vanilla Sky.
A handsome young man wakes up to a female voice telling him to open his eyes. He drives to an empty city. He wakes again, this time to a woman in his bed. He tells her not to leave him messages on his alarm clock. From a prison cell in Madrid, the 25-year-old man César (played by: Eduardo Noriega from The Last Stand, Sweetwater, Vantage Point, & The Devil’s Backbone) tells his story to psychiatrist Antonio (played by: Chete Lera from Personal Movie, The Contestant, Somne, & The Galindez File) while wearing a prosthetic mask. Flashbacks reveal the following events: Good-looking César is attractive to women. At his birthday party, he flirts with Sofía (played by: Penélope Cruz from Vanilla Sky, Blow, Gothika, & Loving Pablo) who is his best friend Pelayo’s (played by: Fele Martinez from Vampyres, The Night My Mother Killed My Father, Gran Hotel, & Sal) date. Later, he takes her home & stays the night but they do not sleep together. The next morning, César’s obsessive ex-lover Nuria (played by: Najwa Nimri from Money Heist, The Tree of Blood, Blinded, & Before Night Falls) pulls up outside Sofía’s flat offering him a ride & sex. On the way to her house, however, she crashes the car with the intent to kill them both. César survives the crash but is horribly disfigured, beyond the help of cosmetic surgery so he decides to wear a mask to conceal his face. After César’s disfigurement, he begins to have a series of disorienting experiences. César falls asleep in the street. On awakening, everything has changed: Sofía now claims to love him & the surgeons restore his lost looks. His dreams turn into a living nightmare as time goes on. Is this reality or is it a horrible dream that won’t stop????
This is one of the best Spanish thrillers ever made! Most people probably know the 2001 American remake Vanilla Sky over Open your Eyes but this is where it all started. It’s a story that you need pay 100% attention to because it’s full of twists & turns. The screenplay is very creative & it does play with your mind a little bit. Eduardo Noriega was a huge star over there at the time when this was released. I thought he was a great lead in Open your Eyes. He carries the film & he can flip it at any time. He goes from charming to disturbed in minutes. This was the first time that I’ve ever seen Penélope Cruz in anything. She’s top notch eye candy & very beautiful in this. She is also not shy at all to shown skin in this earlier role. She played the exact same character in the 2001 remake. It had a solid supporting cast which included Chete Lera, Fele Martinez, & Najwa Nimri that boosted the quality of the production. It’s great to see this finally get some HD treatment from Lionsgate from the Artisan back catalog. They own so many films that haven’t been released in a long time, hopefully this new M.O.D blu ray line will resurrect more of them on home video soon. This opinion might be a little unpopular but I am actually preferred the remake over this original feature. Don’t get me wrong, Open your Eyes is a great thriller & it should be watched with Vanilla Sky for your own comparison. RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Lionsgate! This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer is big upgrade compared to the previous DVD release from Artisan. Don’t expect reference quality here but it looks great for a catalog title. The Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 track is much better than all the other releases. All of the dialogue is crystal clear, all the thrills have a killer boost to them, & the amazing music for Open your Eyes is elevated. It has English & Spanish SDH subtitles. This made on demand BD-R release has no extras on it. It’s available at most online retailers including MovieZyng.com, CHECK IT OUT!!!!