By MICHAEL GINGOLD
Writer/director Nicolas Pesce broke into the horror scene in a big way with his much-praised THE EYES OF MY MOTHER, and he recently completed his follow-up feature, PIERCING. RUE MORGUE caught up with the filmmaker to get some details on the film.
Pesce, whom we spoke with at the recent New York Comic-Con, is also attached to a reboot of THE GRUDGE (which he can’t discuss at this point), and sourced a Japanese story for PIERCING as well. “It’s based on a novel by Ryu Murakami, who wrote the book that Takashi Miike’s AUDITION is based on,” Pesce tells us. “It’s sort of in the same vein as AUDITION; it’s fun and fucked up, and turns the psychosexual thriller on its head. It stars Mia Wasikowska and Christopher Abbott, and it’s totally different from EYES.”
The storyline, Pesce continues, concerns “a guy who has fantasies about stabbing his baby with an ice pick, and he decides to try to quell those emotions.” His solution involves inviting a prostitute to his hotel room with the intention of killing her, but his plans go awry. “The movie takes place over the course of one night, and unexpected things happen,” the filmmaker says. “It’s a cat-and-mouse sort of thing, but the mouse becomes the cat and the cat becomes the mouse.”
The movie, he notes, “is actually very similar to the novel; it’s quite a faithful adaptation. Part of the reason I was drawn to it is that the book feels like a movie when you read it; it feels like it’s begging to be filmed. Like a lot of Murakami’s other work, it’s not bound to Japanese societal stuff, so I think fans of the book will dig the movie.”
As opposed to THE EYES OF MY MOTHER, which was filmed in black and white and largely in Portuguese, PIERCING is in color and English. “It’s very much an ode to giallo movies,” says Pesce, who says we can look forward to seeing the film in 2018. “I enjoy playing with different sides of the genre. There are so many worlds in the horror sphere that we can tip our hats to, and I’m paying homage to another one of my favorite subgenres in this one. In terms of giallo, it’s more like TENEBRAE and DEEP RED, on the mystery-thriller side, with less of the flashy photography.” In that sense, it diverts from recent giallo homages like AMER and THE STRANGE COLOR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS, though it has a similar approach to the soundtrack. “It’s primarily Bruno Nicolai—old Italian movie music. It’s got a killer score!”