Chances are, if you have dipped your toes in the waters of horror cinema with any regularity, you will already have felt the icy touch of a film like Look Away many, many times before.

One of those ‘troubled teen’ flicks that hold no surprises – in fact, this one even had me finishing lines of dialogue out loud before they were actually spoken – the film wastes the talents it has and, despite a handful of effective moments, simply doesn’t work overall.

India Eisley plays Maria, one of those quiet, shy high school kids that seems to be bullied for absolutely no reason whatsoever. At odds with her wealthy parents (played by Jason Isaacs and Mira Sorvino), Maria gets by, but clearly has resentment issues.

Things come to a head after a disastrous Winter Prom, with a tearful Maria standing in front of her bathroom mirror at home bemoaning her life. Step forward ‘Airam’ (see what they did there), her sinister ‘mirror image’ who, with no explanation whatsoever, takes over Maria’s life, with the innocent version now trapped in the mirror itself.

From there on its carnage ahoy, with ‘Maria’ becoming the school sexpot as well as dabbling in the dark side of life, with things getting progressively more dangerous…

Eisley is just fine in the dual role, although the mannerisms needed to differentiate her split personalities do err on the side of cliché.

At least she has something to work with though, as Isaacs’ heartless surgeon is a mere cardboard cutout, spending most of his time sat at dining tables eating. Sorvino has even less to do, which is a real shame. There are numerous hints and revelations concerning a subplot regarding Maria’s birth, but they are shoved firmly in the background when, if dragged into the light at bit more, could have made the film infinitely more interesting.

As stated at the outset, there are a handful of effective moments that show director Assaf Bernstein clearly has skills – and a couple of deft jolts.

But that is offset by a predictable chain of events and, more troublingly, an overuse of Eisley’s naked body. Yep, I know the actress is clearly an adult, but here she is very much meant to be a schoolgirl and I don’t want to spend time thinking about just what Bernstein was aiming for going down that route.

There is a scene about two-thirds into the movie where Jason Isaacs, exasperated by his daughter’s antics, chastises her in a restaurant for ‘thinking you are cool, but trying way too hard and actually looking pathetic.’

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Look Away.

Rental Review: Look Away
2.0Overall Score
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About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle