The Eye
Dir: Danny Pang & Oxide Pang
Star: Anjelica Lee, Lawrence Chou, Chutcha Rujinanon
Cert / Year: 18 - R / 2002
Format: DVD R2

This film is basically a story about a young woman, Mun (Anjelica Lee), who lost her sight when she was two years old, and who undergoes a cornea replacement operation in an attempt to regain her vision. But with the gift of sight, is there also a price to pay?

The operation appears to be a total success but she sees more than she bargained for. Mun learns that she is seeing the things that her cornea donor could see, including the spirits of the dead and the entities that come to collect these spirits (if they are not destined to repeat their deaths forever). The wonder of being able to see again wears off quickly when she realises what she is seeing and she shuts herself away in her bedroom in an attempt to escape from what she regards as a curse.

Her psychologist, Dr Wah (Lawrence Chou), who is the nephew of her eye surgeon, visits her and convinces her to leave the bedroom. The final straw is when she learns that she is not seeing her own reflection in the mirror. Mun and the psychologist set off on a quest to find out more about the donor, believing that the donor is trying to guide her towards a purpose or resolution and that completing this will ‘cure’ her.

The Eye plays on the belief that donor organs carry with them some remnant of the soul of the donor and that the recipient can be influenced by this. Combined with this, the film explores the idea that people’s spirits are doomed to repeat the events of their death until some sort of resolution is reached. Both of these concepts are quite frightening when considered alone, combined they are thought provoking.

The development of the main character, Mun, is cleverly done through a series of experiences which are, at times, quite disturbing. As you watch, you travel alongside Mun on her roller coaster ride of experiences, all the time building empathy with the character. You may feel, when watching the film for the first time, that the start is slow. However, the beginning introduces a number of sub-plots that overlap with Mun’s and which all converge into one spectacular ending (based on a real-life event).

If you want a "thrill-a-minute" gory horror film, then this is definitely not the one for you. The story takes time to build, but your attention will not wander as there is plenty happening. The special effects and make-up are excellent, being realistic and not at all over-the-top. The graphic depiction of death adds, rather than detracts, from the story. However, the entities that come to collect the spirits do bring to mind those in Ghost.

Don’t be put off by the fact that this has not come out of the US and has English subtitles. It is a very enjoyable film with good acting, good direction and excellent effects. A superbly atmospheric film that is guaranteed to spook all but the hardened horror fans.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Picture 1.85:1 Anamorphic Excellent crisp image
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Excellent quality soundtrack, very atmospheric
Features Star and director filmographies
Original theatrical trailer
Justin Bowyer film notes
Making of documentary
Pang Brothers documentary
Promotional art gallery
Asia Extreme trailer reel
Verdict Limited extras but there are a couple of good documentaries which are insightful. Dissappointed that the deleted scenes weren't included on the disc.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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