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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 EricDSnider

"Why organ transplants are evil."
4 stars

From Hong Kong comes "The Eye," a supernatural thriller that has already caught the eye of Tom Cruise, who bought the rights to remake it in English.

As a Hollywood product, however, I suspect it will look even more like "The Sixth Sense" than it already does. In Chinese, written and directed by twin brothers Oxide and Danny Pang, it has enough style to overcome the weaknesses and over-familiarity of the story.

With dark atmosphere to spare, "The Eye" tells of Wong Kar Mun (Lee Sin-je), a young woman who has been blind since age 2. She receives a cornea transplant, restoring her sight but bringing with it unwanted side effects. For example, she sees ghosts. Some of these ghosts are mean. Their purpose, and what to do about them, Mun determines, must relate to the person the corneas came from. And so a search begins.

The Pangs are trading more in suspense than horror here. Actual violence is hinted at more than shown, and only occasionally even hinted at. The idea is to put us into Mun's world, ghosts and all, and at that the Pangs are wonderfully successful. Mun's desperate retreat back into darkness rather than deal with the dreadful things she sees is a chilling psychological touch in a genre that often ignores psychology.

The film moves at a deliberate, methodical pace, now and then exploding into scenes of nightmarish terror. One scene on an elevator will surely haunt you for days, and a key moment half-way through when Mun has a major realization is one of the best plot-related shocks in recent memory.

The problem is, it doesn't add up to much. The story's climax is a disappointment because it's exactly what we expected; the subsequent resolution fails to add anything, either.

There is also too much reliance on music and creepy sound effects to achieve atmosphere. These can be used effectively, and often are here. But at times they seem to overpower what's occurring on screen, to the extent that we notice the sound more than we notice what it's supposed to be underscoring.

But I liked the film. It's creepy and forbidding, the way good thrillers are. I suspect it would not hold up to multiple viewings, but it's a kick one time through, anyway.

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originally posted: 09/13/03 08:27:25
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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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