Filmmaker Nicolas Pesce burst onto the scene in a big way at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival with his debut feature, the startlingly reassured “The Eyes Of My Mother,” a twisted horror movie rooted in a kind of disturbed empathy about a woman who consumed by her deepest and darkest desires after tragedy strikes her quiet country life. Pesce’s encore movie “Piercing,” marks another visceral chapter in his fascinating filmmaking career.

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And it’s also rooted in a very f*cked up psychology. It’s about a man (Christopher Abbott from “Girls,” but who has gone to carve out a great indie career) who kisses his wife and baby goodbye and seemingly heads away on business, with a plan to check into a hotel, call an escort service, and kill an unsuspecting prostitute. But said prostitute (Mia Wasikowska) has other plans for him.

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Here’s the official synopsis:

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Reed (Christopher Abbott) is going on a business trip. He kisses his wife and infant son goodbye, but in lieu of a suitcase filled with clothes, he’s packed a toothbrush and a murder kit. Everything is meticulously planned: check into a hotel and kill an unsuspecting victim. Only then will he rid himself of his devious impulses and continue to be a good husband and father. But Reed gets more than he bargained for with Jackie (Mia Wasikowska), an alluring call girl who arrives at his room. First, they relax and get in the mood, but when there’s an unexpected disruption, the balance of control begins to sway back and forth between the two. Is he seeing things? Who’s playing whom? Before the night is over, a feverish nightmare will unfold, and Reed and Jackie will seal their bond in blood.

Not as entirely well-unanimously-received at Sundance this year as “The Eyes of My Mother,” it still received acclaim and sounds like an intriguing turn in Pesce’s must-watch career (and one so interesting he’s been tapped to reboot “The Grudge” franchise). “Piercing” opens in theaters, on Demand and Digital shops everywhere, February 1st, 2019. Check out the new trailer.

PIERCING