a perfect cocktail of sex and supernatural terror

The story of the series ‘Behind His Eyes’ begins from the more conventional way: Louise, a divorced thirty-year-old who has a seven-year-old son, who barely has a social life and only watches ‘reality shows’ on TV (frustrations are drawn like this, all together), goes out for a drink with a friend. She gives him a sit-in and when he is going to leave he accidentally throws a drink at David, the most handsome man in the bar, who, too, by chance in life, was alone. They strike up a conversation, half get drunk and half hook up. The next day – this was already happening in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ – she goes to work and discovers that the man at the bar is her new boss, which is also very common. A few days later, Louise meets Adele, the boss’s wife, on the street, and they become close friends (it also happens). And this is how a love triangle begins that already in 2021 should be very trite, but which, nevertheless, has turned this six-episode series is the most watched of the weekend on Netflix.

‘Behind his eyes’.

However, in his defense, it should be noted that not everything is as it seems at first glance. And the actors, especially them, Simone Brown (‘The Drum Girl’) and Eve Hewson – yes, she is the daughter of Bono, from U2 – are very correct for the characters they have to play. From conventional romantic comedy to ‘thriller’ and then to supernatural terror, with parallel souls and worlds and quite peculiar beings (crazy and sleepwalking), as if it were ‘Soul’ or, rather, the Jordan Peele film ‘Get Out’. If someone expected something more romantic or even in the line ’50 shades of Gray ‘, they are a little misguided (although the erotic-festive part does have it, which attracts a certain sector of the population).

And this is so because the story was born from the mind of the British author specialized in the genre of horror and fantasy (and quite awarded) Sarah Pinborough, which published the novel of the same name a few years ago and which was translated into Spanish in 2017 when it appeared under the Alianza seal in the Runas collection supported by good reviews from authors of the genre such as Neil Gaiman, Harlan Coben or John Connelly. In 2019 the author, who he has his good fans, was dropped by the Celsius Festival in Avilés. She has always explained that her passion for the fantastic comes from the readings she did in her boarding years when ‘Peter Pan’ and other novels of the genre fell into her hands. Then he continued with the master of terror: Stephen King. Some of all that there is.

Sarah Pinborough.

It was precisely the publisher Belén Urrutia who was behind this author who had begun to publish in 2004 with a pure horror novel that came out in the US in her pocket. Due to the success they published six more titles and from there began a career that has gone quite well in the Anglo-Saxon field, since today the contracts for his books are not closed for less than six figures. They already compare it with Paula Hawkins y Gillian Flynn, the authors ‘La chica del tren’ and ‘Perdida’, respectively. He arrived in Spain in 2015 when Urrutia published a previous novel entitled ‘The House of Death’, the story of a boy, Toby, who lives in a kind of sanatorium with other boys because he has a defective gene. Of course, it is not a place where normal things happen.

Surprising endings

Irvine Welsh, the author of ‘Trainspotting’, was very surprised by the ending of this novel. The one in ‘Detrás de sus ojos’ also could write a lot of literature. It is one of those that is reached after several twists in the script. Urrutia comments that it was the end that most caught his attention along with “incredible rhythm with which it is counted, the dark relationship that is established between the two protagonists ”.

The novel is narrated from Louise and Adele’s points of view with alternate chapters. They are the protagonists, although, while in the series they are both girls with the successful phenotype of today’s society, in the novel Adele is pretty, slim and mysterious while Louise is plump, not very seductive and quite naive. The differences between books and television.

Adele is not in her right mind.

Thus, if at first the disruptive point seems to be David, it is the relationship between the two that marks the story. Especially when we understand that Adele has gone through a psychiatric hospital, that she takes pills and that she has had a friend in this center, Rob, who we do not know what happened to him (but because of his diary he was not doing well). Despite this, as the editor indicates, “Pinborough is never lost or lost to us. Everything that happens in the plot is directed to where she wants to take us. The structure of the novel by chapters each dedicated to a character makes you see what is happening from different points of view. There are no traps of any kind ”.

With a mixture of mystery and supernatural world in which there is the transposition of souls – there are people who would like to live in the body of another person – the novel also delves into other twists and turns such as jealousy and toxic relationships, since from the first moment he shows David as a fairly controlling type – he does not call his wife on his cell phone but on the landline at home, for example – the obsessions and how some women relate – the admiration produced between the two does not seem either too healthy: at certain times it is closer to ‘single white woman seeks’ than to true friendship (in fact, there is little of this).

The ending is a bit crazy, but perhaps things have also been seen in Pedro Almodóvar’s films this convoluted

And it is this relationship of them that will unleash the ending a little crazy, but perhaps in Pedro Almodóvar’s films things have also been seen as convoluted. As has been exposed, Pinborough seems an expert in the end of staying anchored on the sofa. As in ‘Get out’ with the dead servants, although in this case there is no deceased in the strict sense. Only souls that fly. Is thus inaugurated a new genre that mixes the romantic comedy with horror and the costumbrismo? Belén Urrutia doesn’t think it’s that bad. “It seems like a long couple of years ago there was a time when this mix was exploited very well in a few novels and movies, but I’m not sure it has enough substance to be said to be a new wave,” she says.

However, a new sign that the Shyamalan psychological terror, mixed with a drop of sexual tension, still has a few followers.


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