The Eye

"OK"

The Eye Review


After miracle corneal-transplant surgery at age 20, a shy Hong Kong woman who has been blind since age two is suddenly thrust into sensory overload by her new fifth sense.

With her mind overwhelmed by the flow of visual input, she's so confused and disoriented that at first she doesn't realize that some of what she's seeing in her new world isn't of this world. Along with her reborn fifth sense has come a "Sixth Sense"-like sixth sense -- through the dead organ donor's corneas, she sees dead people.

"The Eye" is a film by the creative, Thai-born Pang Brothers, whose darkly moody 2001 action-drama "Bangkok Dangerous" also featured a hero with a disability -- a deaf-mute assassin. This new effort is a bona fide goosepimpler in which poor Mun (Lee Sin-je) can't get away from the ghosts because she sees them everywhere.

Haunting the halls of the apartment building where she lives with her mother and sister are a little boy who killed himself over a poor report card and a disturbingly emaciated old man who floats silently in the elevator, facing the corner and only turning around and moving forward when Mun enters alone. On the freeway she sees a man standing between lanes of traffic. At a cafe, the dead wife of the cook hovers outside the window, their baby in her arms and no leg extending from her spectral skirt.

In the hospital after her operation she sees blurry shapes in black (they look like out-of-focus mimes -- which is unintentionally funny) that come to take the dead. Those shapes become harbingers of doom that eventually leave Mun seeming nuts to everyone except her doctor (Lawrence Chou) -- a handsome young man who has begun thinking of her as more than just a patient as he helps her establish a visual recognition of everyday objects. (Mun doesn't know what a stapler looks like, for example -- only what it feels like.)

The Pang Brothers do an outstanding job with the bone-chilling atmosphere of "The Eye," and it only gets more unsettling, and more frequently startling, as Mun's searches for answers to her visions (why is this happening to her and what do her donated corneas have to do with it?) and the disturbing nightmares that have accompanied them.

But Mun's disorientation from her sudden re-entry into the seeing world goes surprisingly under-explored in the Pangs' script. Her whole world has changed, and it would be confusing enough without ghosts entering into the picture. Yet her adjustment to being sighted is a minor part of the story. She never, for example, reaches out to touch the ghosts she sees to confirm their reality with a sense more native to her experience.

In fact, the film does a better job of illustrating her blindness in the Braille-transforming-to-text opening credits -- which play over the eerie image of a balloon-skin-like white surface with the impressions of hands roaming over it from the other side -- than it does depicting her adjustment to sight.

Regardless of its shortcomings, "The Eye" literally gave me the chills at least a dozen times (no cheap horror-movie jump-frights here), and that's what counts. But the untapped potential here does make me more curious than usual to see the inevitable Hollywood remake.

It seems Tom Cruise's company, Cruise/Wagner Productions, has bought the rights. And while "Vanilla Sky" -- their remake of the ingenious, unnerving, Spanish psychological thriller "Open Your Eyes" -- was a soft-served, over-produced disappointment, it did flesh out story elements in exactly the way this movie doesn't.



The Eye

Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st February 2008

Box Office USA: $31.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $56.3M

Budget: $12M

Distributed by: Lionsgate Films

Production compaines: VN Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 22%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 61

IMDB: 5.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: The Pang Brothers

Starring: as Sydney Wells, as Dr. Paul Faulkner, as Helen Wells, as Simon McCullough, as Ana Christina Martinez, as Dr. Haskins, Danny Mora as Miguel, as Rosa Martinez, Chloë Grace Moretz as Alicia Millstone, as Mrs. Cheung, Karen Austin as Mrs. Hillman

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.