Based on Jean Redon's novel this gloomy, atmospheric horror film is a masterpiece of cinematic poetry. After his daughter Christiane becomes horribly disfigured in a car accident of which he was the cause, guilt-ridden plastic surgeon Doctor Genessier grows obsessed with perfecting the reconstruction of her once-beautiful, but now-ravaged, face. With the help of his sadistic nurse Louise, Genessier kidnaps young girls and brings them back to his isolated manse for grisly medical procedures that graft the victims' living skins onto that of his daughter's. The film's nightmarish power springs from the surrealistic beauty of its haunting images--from the fiercely blank mask that shields Christiane's wounded face to the merciless incisions of Genessier's surgeries--and a moving climactic scene that garners one of the most transcendent finales in all of cinematic history.
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