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Overall Rating

Awesome: 18.6%
Worth A Look56.98%
Average: 18.6%
Pretty Bad: 4.65%
Total Crap: 1.16%

7 reviews, 44 user ratings

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Eye, The
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by David Cornelius

"More ghost stories should be this good."
4 stars

Here’s the movie “The Sixth Sense” should have been. “The Eye” is an extra-spooky ghost story filtered through the body part transplant genre, with enough creepy atmospherics to provide a solid number of chills. Directors Oxide Pang Chun and Danny Pang (“Bangkok Dangerous”) lend a dark, disturbing mood to their story, resulting in plenty of haunting imagery and at least one scene that’ll get under your skin for good.

The plot, which is nothing new, finds Mun (Lee Sin-Je), who’s been blind since birth, undergoing a cornea transplant, allowing her to see for the first time. Several films have tackled this issue before (“Blink” played it for thrills, “At First Sight” went for the romance angle), and all have commented on how disorienting the whole procedure can become. After all, Mun has no “visual vocabulary,” no way of understanding what she’s seeing without the help of her other senses.

But this is not Mun’s reason for concern, as she’s actually adjusting fairly well to this new sense. No, her big problems start late one night, when she sees a tall, shadowy figure escort a fellow patient from the hospital. No big deal, except in the morning, Mun learns that the old lady she saw passed away overnight. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Mun Sees Dead People.

Only she doesn’t quite know it yet. After all, she’s still learning to comprehend what she’s seeing in this real world; is she ready to start figuring out which people she sees are alive and which ones are phantoms?

“The Eye” toys with this disorientation, offering up a few effective shocks and surprises along the way. But soon it settles into a regular ol’ ghost tale, and a ripping good one at that. We learn that those who commit suicide are forced to repeat their final actions like a stuck record, thus explaining the odd little boy who keeps showing up in Mun’s hallway, asking the same question again and again. Other ghosts appear due to unfinished business, while others still simply don’t know they’re dead yet. And Mun gets to meet them all.

My favorite sequence in the film comes midway, and exists only to freak us out, with no relation to the main plot. In it, Mun needs to take an elevator to her apartment, only there’s a man in the elevator... but he’s not showing up on any security monitor. The Pangs wind the tension from there, making the scene an exercise in pure suspense filmmaking. It’s great stuff.

The story winds up going to familiar places, with Mun and her doctor (Lawrence Chou) doing the obligatory investigation into the former owner of Mun’s new eyes. But while this is stuff we’ve seen before, the screenplay (written by the Pangs and Jo Jo Hui) goes the unexpected route and finds an emotional base to these later scenes. There’s a great sadness hanging in the air here, mixing with the horror in such a way that the frights never feel cheap. This movie understands that while ghosts may be here to scare the crap out of us, whatever happened to make them ghosts must add some sort of tragedy to their existence. This is a ghost story that cares about its ghosts as much as it cares for its living characters.

By giving their movie such emotional weight, the Pangs have crafted a horror movie that’s more effectual than most because it reaches us on a more complete level. But don’t think it’s all emotion here - there are plenty of powerful shocks and nifty spook-outs to satisfy anyone looking for a strong horror treat.

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originally posted: 08/11/05 01:09:34
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2003 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Seattle Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 San Francisco Film Festival. For more in the 2003 San Francisco Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Santa Monica Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Santa Monica Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

12/29/17 morris campbell not fresh but still scary worth a look 4 stars
10/27/09 bored mom Cellular memory? More like Legend of the Cursed Eyeballs. 3 stars
10/24/09 SouthWind45 Legacy and, worse, insists suggest that Brazilian professionals are solely responsible for 2 stars
10/23/09 Gangster38 The schools I went to were out of control. , 5 stars
5/29/07 Bitchflaps Doesn't bring anything new to the genre, but there are some effective moments. 3 stars
11/01/06 William Goss Familiar, yet still solid. 4 stars
10/02/05 ravinder singh i like this movei 5 stars
9/02/05 Indrid Cold A couple perfectly done scenes, but doesn't even come close to sustaining it. 3 stars
8/11/05 Maegs Creepy! Elevator man still scares the crap out of me. 4 stars
7/25/05 Eric Rollins Japanese Val Lewton makes visual gem out coal (story). 4 stars
7/20/05 Sir Dude Very good. Hurry and see it before Hollywood ruins a great movie... Again! 5 stars
6/23/05 M a bit silly, but skin crawling. beautifully shot. 4 stars
6/11/05 whatevr as creepy as the sixth sense 5 stars
6/09/05 The Grinch Don't believe the hype. The lamest of all overrated asian "horror". Watch Odishan instead 2 stars
6/05/05 Charlene Javier Great production values! 4 stars
5/07/05 K. Sear Nothing new but beautifully executed. 4 stars
1/13/05 SAKURAZUKAMORI Very effective, creepy movie. 5 stars
1/01/05 Raven Great drama with some horror elements. Ju-on sucked, watch this instead. It has a plot. 4 stars
10/19/04 Samantha It's a great film, I love the way it was done! 5 stars
5/29/04 Cameron Slick Thought concerned and eerie 4 stars
5/18/04 taintedlunch Creepy! Look out for elevator scene. Derivative and predictable at times, but good movie. 5 stars
5/15/04 shannon saliard excelltnt film it had me on the edge of my seat from first shot to last. 5 stars
4/26/04 Lord Jiggy Well done, owes Sixth Sense a lot, but doesn't ultimately pay off. 3 stars
4/18/04 JERRY ahh cuz i wet meself! 5 stars
2/08/04 matt mathias's all in the sound...turn it up loud!! 5 stars
1/21/04 Mayet quite better than inner senses... but nothing beats ring 4 stars
11/08/03 Agent Sands (previously Mr. Hat) Predictable at some points, but it's pretty scary. My 1st Pang Bros. outing. 4 stars
10/29/03 othree feltfull understated ghost story w/o the hollywood racket 4 stars
10/25/03 Mickey With A C This is an EXCELLENT movie 5 stars
10/05/03 john holdsworth top film better than usual U.S. crap 5 stars
9/14/03 the Grinch Don't believe the hype. Weak, cliched movie. Watch Audition instead... 2 stars
7/01/03 Kyle Worth checking out. 4 stars
6/24/03 Eastwood Honestly, I've never been genuinely scared like that. Leveled off nicely at the end. 4 stars
6/10/03 hugh frightening 5 stars
6/06/03 chris Plays it safe, but some scenes make the overall film worthwhile 4 stars
5/31/03 Meyeson I've had this on DVD for about 8 months, this is not "SCREAM" style horror it's "SUSPIRIA 4 stars
5/23/03 Jonathan Not Evil, but Bizzare-scary. A good story and cast but a little predictable at times. 4 stars
5/19/03 Loyd This movie has been copied from a book. I read the book 3 years ago. 1 stars
5/16/03 joe biedron very scary stuff 4 stars
3/20/03 Andy Bronson a great follow up to bangkok dangerous 5 stars
3/18/03 Ace-of-Stars Outstanding movie; very creepy -- right up there with Nakata's "RING" (orig. Japanese ver.) 5 stars
3/13/03 Jon Saw the east coast version 6 months ago, great with a very cool ending 4 stars
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  06-Jun-2003 (R)
  DVD: 21-Oct-2003


  03-Jun-2004 (MA)

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