In the new horror film The Eyes of My Mother (in theaters and on VOD, Dec. 2), a surgeon teaches her young daughter, Francisca, to understand anatomy and be unfazed by death at the family’s remote farmhouse. Then, one afternoon, a mysterious visitor shatters the idyll of Francisca’s family life, deeply traumatizing the young girl, but also awakening strange curiosities.

The Eyes of My Mother stars Kika Magalhães, Will Brill, and Flora Diaz, and is written and directed by first-time filmmaker Nicolas Pesce. “As a horror fan, I was seeing films like A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, and It Follows, and Babadook come out and do well,” he says. “I saw that there was an audience that was like me, and wanted more intelligent, more interesting, different, horror films. When I looked at the landscape of all of horror, the movies that I loved in the genre weren’t represented. I grew up watching Hitchcock films, and anything with Joan Crawford, and all the Bill Castle movies, and Vincent Price. This section of gothic American horror hasn’t really been around for so long. [The film] started as sort of a love letter to that whole section of the genre.”

You can see the trailer for The Eyes of My Mother below and get an exclusive look at the film’s opening scene, above.