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The Eye (2002)

Jian gui, Khon hen phi (Thailand: Thai title)

What if the reflection you see is not yours

Starring:

Angelica Lee

Candy Lo

Chutcha Rujinanon

Edmund Chen

Lawrence Chou

Pierre Png

Wai-Ho Hung

Wilson Yip

Yin Ping Ko

Yut Lai So

Directed by:

Oxide Pang Chun & Danny Pang

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 99 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Any doctor worth his salt will tell you that, if you see someone else’s reflection every time you look in the mirror, it can medically be for only one of three reasons: 1. You’re being haunted; 2. You’re a Quantum Leaper; 3. There’s somebody standing behind you. Normally it’s the third one – but, if you’re unlucky enough to be like the young lady in ‘The Eye’, you’ll unfortunately have to face up to the reality of staring slap-bang into the face of option 1: the somewhat irksome involvement of ghosties.

Like an easy-on-the-eye version of whining li’l Haley Joel Osment from M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense, Mun (Anjelica Lee) “sees dead people”. It hadn’t been much of a problem for her earlier in life, predominantly because she was blind as a bat. But, after successfully undergoing a cornea transplant operation, she suddenly starts clapping eyes on all sorts of ghoulish apparitions. “Spooky, possums”, as Dame Edna Everage would probably say.

Directed by Hong Kong siblings Oxide Pang Chung and Danny Pang (better known – to me at least – as the Fabulous Pang Boys), this is a creepy, modern horror tale that’s guaranteed to send a chill down your spine on at least a couple of occasions. It’s atmospheric, perfectly paced, and nicely performed – particularly by the pretty Malaysian part-time pop idol Lee, who displays a lot of screen presence in her role as the deeply-disturbed Mun.

On the down side, it’s not particularly original, and its final big scene has neither the shock value nor the gravitas of that famous finale to the superior The Sixth Sense. Word has it the rights to the tale have already been picked up for remake by Tom Cruise’s production company, so it’ll be interesting to see what a Western spin could possibly add to this that American and European audiences haven’t already seen in Shyamalan’s landmark work. The US remake of another Eastern horror, ‘Ringu’, was a hit partly because the original material was just that – original. Whether such success could conceivably be met by a new ‘Eye’ definitely remains to be seen.

It's Got: An ending that’s vaguely similar to ‘Independence Day’ – only without Will Smith or any aliens.

It Needs: A course of eye drops. Seriously – it’s never even suggested. Surely the simplest solution is always the best solution?

DVD Extras Two trailers for the film, some notes penned by renowned buff Justin Bowyer, cast and crew filmographies, a ‘making of’ featurette, a documentary on those Fabby Pangy Laddies, and a trailer reel of some other like-minded Asian frighteners. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10

Alternatives:

Ringu, The Sixth Sense

Summary

I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with… DEAD PEOPLE!! Quick! Hide!

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