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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.