Nicolas Pesce earned critical acclaim for his directorial debut “The Eyes of My Mother,” a twisted serial killer drama widely regarded as one of the best horror films of 2016, and now he’s back in equally gruesome fashion with “Piercing.” Pesce’s latest premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and is adapted from the 1994 Japanese novel of the same by Ryu Murakami.
“Piercing” stars Christopher Abbott as a businessman hired to check into a hotel and kill an unsuspecting prostitute, played by indie darling Mia Wasikowska with fearless conviction. Unfortunately for the man, the prostitute he chooses to kill ends up being more intelligent, more twisted, and even more blood-thirty than he ever imagined. The supporting cast includes Laia Costa, Olivia Bond, and Marin Ireland.
In his review out of Sundance, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn called “Piercing” a “swift tribute to Takashi Miike’s ‘Audition’ filtered through Quentin-Tarantinoesque exuberance.” The release will be the latest for Wasikowska, who most recently appeared in David and Nathan Zellner’s “Damsel.” Abbott had a supporting role in “First Man” in this year and appears in two December indies, Brady Corbet’s “Vox Lux” and Sebastian Silva’s “Tyrel.”
Following the release of “Piercing” in early 2019, Pesce is moving to the studio world as the director of highly anticipated “The Grudge” reboot. Fans of Pesce’s work will no doubt be interested to see how a major studio like Sony Pictures handles his knack for graphic violence. Both “The Eyes of My Mother” and “Piercing” are notable for maintaining Pesce’s specific and challenging vision, and it’s a vision that would be exciting to see maintained in a studio release. The film, opening June 2019, stars Andrea Riseborough, Demián Bichir, and John Cho.
Universal Pictures will release “Piercing” in theaters February 1. Watch the official trailer below,