on 13 August 2007
I discovered Asian horror with the DVD release of the much hyped 'Ring', and earnestly began to build a collection of films that injected (much needed) new life into a genre that had practically been killed off by 20 or so years of trashy, ineffectual American slasher flicks.
Whilst not always successful, Asian horror films at least treated the genre with respect and intelligence, where brooding atmospheres were the foundation of under you skin scares, not a disfigured serial murderer or drop of fake blood in sight.
The Eye is an odd film, in that it represents both the best and worst of Asian horror, and due to failings in the latter half of the movie, is not quite the classic that many reviewers make out. What makes many Asian horror movies so deliciously creepy is the lack of obvious explanations to the terrible events that take place - fear of the unknown is afterall, perhaps the darkest fear of all. Through non-linear storytelling and editing, films like Audition, The Ring, The Grudge et al have jarring, disturbing quality, and loose strings are often left untied, leaving the viewer with much to think about long after the end titles have rolled. The first half of the Eye does this perfectly.
To represent our heroine's far from perfect eyesight follwing a cornea transplant, the Pang brothers present us with a view of Mun's world... a world inhabited by shadowy figures, blurred and distorted faces, rooms whose features change spontaneously during the night... all in all, a confusing and not altogether attractive place. And we, the audience are right there with her. The premise is immediately obvious, following the transplant, our heroine can now see ghosts, but the flair with which these spectres are revealed to us is such that The Eye delivers more genuine scares in it's first 45 minutes than most horror films deliver througout, and therein lies the problem... The Eye does so much in its opening scenes, that there is nowhere for the remainder of film to go, other than on a very pedestrain and, dare I say, boring 'investiagtion' sub-plot, where our heroine must discover who her cornea donor was and why she now sees the things she does. After such a great start, the rest of the film goes rapidly downhill, not because it is 'bad', but because The Eye promises early on to be a veritable fright-fest, and the latter 50% of the movie is totally devoid of any scares.
If you are new to Asian horror, and are looking to build your collection, The Eye is an absolute must, even if the last half of the movie is a somewhat tiresome 'Ring' style detective story;(with a rather cheesy 'Hollywood' ending), there are enough effective and genuinely creepy scares in the first three quarters of an hour to satisfy the most hardened horror buff.
on 27 March 2004
I watched this on the strength of the publisher's record and I haven't changed my opinion that the 'Tartan' series of Asian films is a safe investment.
I don't really need to add to what other reviewers have said, merely to reiterate the so far unanimous view that this film is deeply chilling, brilliantly constructed and a far cry from most Hollywood horror.
This is not to say that it is better than 'The Sixth Sense'; a film it is justifiably compared to; but 'The Sixth Sense' is not typical of US horror. On reflection, it is hard to say whether or not 'The Eye' is the superior film of the two without understanding the nuances of Chinese dialogue. Some of the subtitles translate lines into American slang, which did irritate me a little but was clearly for the benefit of the largest target audience. There is also the scene where Mun begins learning calligraphy and the first line of dialogue has her asking the instructor how long he has been teaching the art. It seemed as though the director wanted to explain what the scene was about when there was absolutely no need to do so. If they had edited this line out, I would have had nothing to gripe about - which just illustrates what a superb film this is.
One more thing. Pay close attention to the scene with Mun and the doctor on the train. It's the scariest part of the film if you are watching carefully.
I not going to give an in depth review - save to say I thought this film was excellent with some genuinely spooky moments. The similarities with sixth sense are pretty obvious but doesn't detract from the film. If I had to make any critiscism it would be that it is a little slow off the mark. Also, I felt that just as the tension was really being upped Mun sets out to discover the identity of the donor and after that point it seemed to me that there was never that same level of tension in the film.
All the same, watch this film! (It's much better than that 'Ring' rubbish!)
on 29 June 2004
As someone else pointed out the ending is a bit flat indeed. However, for the other moments in this film that are utterly terrifying I had to give this the full 5 stars. I've been a veteran horror buff all my life but there's been very few films that have been able to chill me in the same way this did. There is very little gore but that's not what this film is about -it plays with your anxiety and suspense buttons..and I mean in a BIG way. Hollywood will never be able to top this with their remake (*snort*) Get this and watch it with a friend, you need them there while you're viewing something as pant-wettingly scary as this!
on 15 January 2015
This is probably one of the scariest movies I have ever seen. It is genuinely scary and suspenseful throughout, punctuated by intense dramatic moments and story developments that just pulls at your heartstrings at the same time. That is no small feat.
It's also well acted, well cut, well lit and all in between. Great music and sound design as well.
If you like scary movies, this one is a must have!
Definition of blumin' scary;
1. Feeling of fright or alarm
2. Or Japanese cult horror movie written and directed by the critically acclaimed Pang Brothers, The Eye
The Eye is the chilling story of a blind woman who is given the chance of sight by having a corneal transplant. When she starts seeing strange occurrences she realises the horrifying truth of whose eyes she is seeing the world out of. Scares come thick and fast, with little respite between, leaving you a nervous wreck. When the ‘jump off your seat’ moments come, be prepared to hold back the urge to scream like a little girl.
Scared? The Eye is both terrifying and stylishly made, I’m dying to see Hollywoods stab at re-making this Japanese classic, it’s sure to make a killing.
on 23 October 2007
A disquieting film more than a frightening story. A young woman, after a nearly total life of blindness, recuperates her eyesight after getting new corneas grafted on her eyes. But along with them she gets the visionary capability of the young woman who donated them, after her own death. The film does not try to frighten us or even terrorize us. It tries to convince her that this story is true with two doctors as main witnesses and extremely realistic shooting and editing. We are immersed into the story as if it were absolutely normal and true, without any special effects and extraordinary events. What's more it insists on the disturbing effect of this power onto the young woman, to the point of her preferring going back to blindness. Then we end up with extremely disquieting questions. Is eyesight responsible for our unhappiness or mishaps? Do we learn how to reject what we don't like along with seeing when we are children in a segregative not to say racist way? Is our seeing tamed and conditioned early in our life? And this creates in us an uneasy feeling that makes us shrink away from something that could very well be a true fact since our education is not to teach us to see everything but to see in the proper way. The film is trying to convince us of this brainwashing we have been through without even knowing it. Isn't it then better to refuse to see and lock ourselves into some kind of artificial blindness that will protect us from the nightmares of real life. What we do not see does not exist. Isn't that blindness nothing but the same thing as the selective seeing of normal people?
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
on 20 February 2003
hey 1st time reviewer here, but this movie is so cool.
Last time a film affected me like this was when I saw the man who fell to earth (which is my fave). Lets just explain a little about me - I have seen all the so called good movies 'ring' 'audition' etc of the genre, FORGET THEM !!!!
I aint ashamed to say this film let me through the myriad of emotions, I felt cold throughout watching it yet like a car crash I could not tear my eyes away - hey I am not ashamed to admit I even shed a few tears....
when the movie ended I felt jealous of people who will read this beacause they have all the suprises to come - I dont care how u get to see this - JUST SEE IT ! I think its changed my life
on 7 September 2003
Ever since the 6th sense in one way or another we have seen many films that take on the "I see dead people" suspense horror genre. This, however, works and works well.
imagine being blind from the age of two, now imagine you have had an operation 18 years later and can see again, now imagine you are seeing into a crossover world of spirits and normality through someone elses eyes.
This movie is chock full of moments that will have the skin running from your boday and you hair staning to attention. I recommend watchin this film alone at night with the lights down for full effect.
The pang brothers triumph with this masterpiece, a good script, a great cast and some scenes that would not be out of place in a high budget hollywood production
this film got 5 stars by me for being a great all rounder, so yes 4.5-5 stars