All Reviews, Hong Kong, Horror, International Films

The Eye (2002)

Mun has been blind since she was two years old. When she gets an eye operation as an adult, she comes out of the operating room completely near-sighted, but at least she can see. Unfortunately, she discovers soon afterward that she can see too well.

Mun Sees Dead People®.

Strangely enough, she can hear them now, too…’em are some powerful strong eyes. And who, knowing that Mun can see dead people, can’t see what’s going to happen to little, incidental, cancer-ridden Yingying in the hospital bed next to her? I can, and that’s the problem: I’ve seen too much of this movie before. I’ve seen it when it was called “The Sixth Sense.” And “The Others.” And “Jacob’s Ladder.” When an Asian horror movie is completely derivative of lesser American films, things have taken a wrong turn somewhere. Oh, what the hell…“Wrong Turn.” There ya go; I might as well be consistant.

One good thing the film has going for it is that it’s beautifully shot, but then I realized the cinematography- far too often to be dismissed as mere coincidence -was suspiciously similar to “Angel Heart”. Recognize that spinning ceiling fan interlaced with jump cuts and set to a pounding rhythmic soundtrack? Thought so. Too bad it doesn’t also feature Lisa Bonet getting jiggy with it.

The main problem though is that “The Eye” isn’t quite sure what kind of movie it wants to be and so it winds up being about not very much at all. For the first hour or so it’s a drama/thriller, but then it does a complete flip and becomes a mystery, then back to a thriller before finishing off as an action flick! It’s like they cut straight to the chase and worked all of the sequels-to-be right into the first movie. What a timesaver for the audience! In the meantime though, I want to find Mun’s surgeon. I figure if he’s gifted enough to make her hear things with a new set of eyes, maybe he can help me with the whiplash I got from watching this film.

Ok, I’m being sarcastic, but I’m disappointed. “The Eye” is overhyped and underdone. It is, as I’ve said before, a gorgeously shot film (check out those explosions!) and it also features a stunning soundtrack that I’ll be purchasing as soon as I can find a copy, but these aren’t enough to save it from mediocrity: “The Eye” is simply a below average film with above average production.

Pros: Great soundtrack and cinematography. There are a couple of creepy moments, and one truly-inspired scene…
Cons: … that fizzles out way too fast. Near-zero inspiration, and a silly final third.
Review Rating: 2.5 out of 5 wasted opportunities.
American Remake Alert!! This one is due from Tom Cruise’s production company in 2005, although I’m not sure why.

Jian gui” (“The Eye”) (2002)
Also known as: “Seeing Ghosts”
Review Rating: 2.5 out of 5 wasted opportunities.
99 Minutes; Hong Kong
Rated R for disturbing images and violence.

Starring:
Lee Sin-je (Mun)
Lawrence Chou (Dr. Wah)
Chutcha Rujinanon (Ling)
Yut Lai So (Yingying)
Candy Lo (Yee)
Yin Ping Ko (Mun’s grandmother)
Directed by: The Pang Brothers (Oxide Pang Chun and Danny Pang)
Viewing Format: DVD

(Originally published on HorrorWatch)

About John Daily

John is a freelance writer, columnist and critic. His work has appeared in print, as well as on sites such as ScifiWatch and HorrorWatch (where he wrote under the complete meaningless moniker “Bloody Taco”). An archive of his film-related material is available at cinemaspin.wordpress.com. Currently, he can be found spouting his special brand of sarcastic nonsense at CigarHell.com or Twitter (JohnNDaily).

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  1. Pingback: The Eye 2 « Cinemaspin - October 16, 2011

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