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Five young people apply to live in an isolated house together for six months whilst their every move is filmed by numerous cameras. Each has their reason for wanting to be there - fame, money, adventure. The prize - $1 million. The rules - if one person leaves, everyone loses. It becomes the ultimate morality test. When Danny's beloved grandfather dies, does his greed overcome his love? When the skittish Emma finds blood on her pillow why does she still stay behind? And what dark secret does the house harbour that leaves them feeling as though they're being watched by more than just a million pairs of eyes? Written by
Funnily enough, before the film they showed a trailer for the new HALLOWEEN flick (out in the UK in time for, well, you know ...); I heard a few people muttering that this seemed to have exactly the same plot as the film we were about to see (we'll gloss over KOLOBOS and BIG BROTHER.COM - THE MOVIE, shall we?).
MY LITTLE EYE has had some blistering reviews, and, unlike most genre efforts, has had a TV ad blitz, which is probably why the Sunday night screening I saw was way over 3/4 full.
As often seems to happen with these things I had invited a few friends who don't mind a few horror-lite morsels but would rather not step into the darkside. They thought they were in for fluff; as the movie progressed, and became darker and darker in tone, I realised I had made something of a mistake inviting them. "Whoops!", I thought, trying to avoid their ashen faces in the flickering light.
I don't want to give anything away, really, lest to say that the two movies that this reminded me of most were THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and SESSION 9: they were all shot on video, and they all had an unrelenting bleakness and
an innate power to unnerve which distinguished them from the popcorn horrors of, say, SCREAM and the modern crop of audience pleasers (which I having nothing against, by the way).
The makers of MY LITTLE EYE use a dizzying array of discordant camera angles and white noise (and loud jarring sonic shards to unnerve its audience); it's the most inventive low budget genre film making I've seen since THE EVIL DEAD, and it doesn't seem overly contrived, or forced; the subject matter and set-up (the Big Brother'esque all seeing cameras constantly whirring, slipping in and out of focus) lend itself to it perfectly.
As the majority of reviews point out, this *is* scary stuff. It's unnerving; getting under your skin like THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE did. There is no comic relief what-so-ever. The film's all-pervading nihlism spreads - relentlessly - like an ever increasing black ink blot. To say it won't end well is not spoiling anything, really; it's clear from the opening scenes that we're on a one way journey downwards.
Essentially, stripped of all it's visual trickery and clever manipulation, it's a teen horror flick at core (a teen slasher movie at that), but it's a million miles away from genre films like URBAN LEGEND, and it's ilk.
MY LITTLE EYE (a British film made in Canada with American actors) is a gruelling hour and a half; it's endurance test horror. It's the kind of 'entertainment' (and I don't mean the inverted commas in a derogatory way, I just find it hard to equate this powerfully morbid film with that notion) which I never thought I'd see in the cinema again in this country. Judging by the total silence in the cinema, as the harrowing final shots faded, I doubt anyone else did either.
Real fans of the genre miss it at your peril!
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