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Even the website of this movie gave me the creeps. And it turned out to be
one of the scariest movies I've seen in a while.
We follow the touching story of a young Hong Kong girl, blind from her earliest years, who undergoes a cornea transplant. After softening us up with lots of nice sentiment, the horror kicks her new found sight brings its own macabre rewards. Snappy editing and a well-timed score heighten the horrors that pack nanchuka punches to the guts. About a third of the audience was cowering behind their hands for the last half. In an age when American horror flicks are starting to look weary from over-use of CGI special effects or are toned down by self-censorship to reach a wider audience, The Eye comes in as a deftly woven real cardiac-stimulation shocker.
Sadly, the fact that it is subtitled limits the potential audience as many people simply refuse to go and see foreign language films until they have been genuinely moved or terrified by one. If you like horror movies and want to experiment, this is a good chance, and one of the best in the genre since the little shown Audition earlier this year.
For the most part, "The Eye" is a competent effort from HK cinema. While
most HK films nowadays involve big pop stars in pointless romantic
this film (and also Infernal Affairs) show that there are still talented
filmmakers in HK.
The story is about a blind girl named Mun getting a cornea transplant. When she gets her vision back, she begins seeing supernatural beings (ghosts, to be precise). For the first half of the story, we see her experiencing all these haunting encounters. One notable scene is in an elevator. The mystery and creepiness in this first half is incredibly effective and well-made.
The same cannot be said about the second half though. Like "The Ring" (or "Ringu"), Mun travels to Thailand to figure out the origin of the owner of her cornea. What starts out as a supernatural thriller turns into a mystery.
The film seems to be a mix of "The Sixth Sense", "Ringu", and a touch of "Final Destination." The switch of style in the middle and toward the end is somewhat annoying. The ending is an effort of the directors to show that they can do big CGI action sequences too. But, this film would have been good enough to stand on its own without that.
The acting is pretty good. Angelica Lee as Mun is very believable. The same cannot be said about the doctor though. I think this is mostly because his character's motivations are not convincing enough. Why does he give up his whole career to travel all the way to Thailand to help her after meeting her for a few times only? For love? Probably...but I don't buy it at all.
Overall, this film is pretty good. It is a nice effort from promising directors.
Of all the horror movie genres in existence, ghost stories have always
been my personal favorites. The Haunting, Ju-On, The Innocents, Ringu,
The Shining...all nice, moody, creepy ghost tales. The Eye now finds
itself at the top of my list along with the aforementioned as one of
the best and creepiest ghost stories of all time.
Mun, blind since the age of 2, receives the gift of a cornea transplant at the age of twenty. Her restored vision comes with a price, however. She can no longer play with the all blind symphony that she once found solace within, she cannot read or write, having had no reason to learn, and she has no words for visible objects, having always identified them by touch. She's also seeing things that nobody else can see...terrifying things. A little boy looking for his lost report card plagues her daily. An old woman wanders the hospital corridors, complaining of the cold. Shadowy forms come to escort the recently deceased away to parts unknown, and Mun's own bedroom flickers in the darkness, changing into another room that once belonged to another girl, in another country. Mun knows that the things she sees are not normal, but no one seems to believe her, not even, at first, the cute doctor who is trying to help her. Mun finds herself alone in a frightening world filled with things she never wanted to see. When Mun and the cute doctor finally learn the identity of the donor whose corneas Mun has received, they also learn of her frightening abilities, her sad death and a terrible tragedy which is destined to repeat itself.
The Eye is an original and innovative film and yet it is also a perfect mixture of plot points and elements drawn from such previous films as The Sixth Sense, The Mothman Prophecies and Blink, all of which are very good films in their own right. The Eye knows exactly how to scare you, and does so without a drop of blood or a hint of gore. A scene in a calligraphy class provides a truly frightening shock, while a scene in an elevator is an exercise in slow, building dread which grows more excruciating by the second. The performances are all wonderful, and the feelings of loss, alienation, fear and determination are genuine and powerful. Fans of the aforementioned films would do well to seek this one out, as would ghost enthusiasts and Asian Horror aficionados. It's rare these days that a film will actually make me jump, gasp and check the corners of my bedroom for boogeymen, but this one spooked me very well indeed - and I watched it in the middle of a bright, sunny day. The Eye tells a good story and tells it well, with strong characters and genuine scares. It is never dull or cheap or overly dramatic.
Highly HIGHLY recommended!!!
This is a good little Asian horror film that I would definitely recommend
renting or even buying, if you like foreign films. A young blind woman
receives a cornea transplant and soon finds out that she got way more than
she bargained for when she starts being visited by some very unhappy dead
souls. It's not very original, true, but the acting is good, the lead
character (played by Angelica Lee, is that her name?) is adorable, as is the
little girl who plays Ying Ying; there is some serious tension and dread
here, especially in the first half hour. The scene in the hospital hallway
had my skin trying to crawl off my body, as well as the "Why are you sitting
in my chair?" scene. We're talking serious chills. Some of the music IS a
bit cheesy and over the top, but hey, you can't have everything, right? The
scenes where we see through Mun's eyes in the first few minutes are very
effective; we know someone is standing there, we just don't know who it is,
and we feel her fear and uncertainty. Not the best movie ever made, but it's
definitely worth seeing.
Before I close, I would like to respond to the attitude expressed here by some people that American films are all stupid, and that American filmgoers are all drooling idiots who have to see a throat slashed every few minutes in order to be engaged by a movie. When you make comments like that, you really show how ignorant you are when it comes to American cinema, as some of the finest movies ever made came right out of Hollywood, and no they aren't all slasher films or mindless teen comedies. But then I'm sure you folks already know that, you just want to feel intellectually superior to others. I enjoy a good foreign film, and so do many Americans, but just because they're foreign doesn't mean they're perfect. They have flaws just like any other human effort, so please get over yourselves and try to watch movies with an open mind, because you'll enjoy them much more that way. That's just my two cents.
Watch this movie, it's good.
Wow. This movie completely caught me off-guard. It had been lying on my
shelf for months, some friend gave it to me and since I don't usually
watch much films made outside U.S. I hadn't really given much thought
for it. When I finally got around watching it, man was I scared...
I'm not going into plot, you can probably read more from other comments and from the web but the effect this movie had on me - I didn't sleep last night. The Mood. I can't even remember when was the last time (or how old I was) when I wanted to close my eyes and not watch the screen. The Eye did that. This movie is SCARY and CREEPY. Lee Sin-Je does amazingly talented acting portraying the role of Mun, blind girl who has got her sight back. And now with her new vision, she starts seeing things... Let me warn you, the first scene when she sees something she shouldn't - you might just wet your pants. I was scared s***less every time she was seeing something, and I'm not that easy to scare. The Eye has much of the same with 'The Sixth Sense' and 'The Others' but goes way beyond, simply with the mood. In this movie - at least for me - everything fell for place. Directing, shooting, editing, lighting, soundtrack & sound effects (really check these out!) - just simply amazing - Hollywood pay attention !
I guess one of the reasons this experience was so eerie was that the spoken language was Chinese, so I understood what was going on because of the subtitles, but the mumblings and other horrible voices were 'not familiar' to me, it made the movie even more scary. I know this review is a bit weird, but it's written by a guy who's still messed up from yesterday by The Eye. I'm checking the closets, looking over my shoulder. I'm still scared as hell.
If you ever have a chance - check out The Eye. Turn off the lights, put a little more volume on your speakers than usual - and prepare to be SCARED. 10+ !
There are already several comments left, but what the hey, I liked this
movie and I'm gonna have my 10p worth.
Before I mention the movie itself, I'd better comment on modern Asian movies that reach Western shores, and the fact that they have different pacing, priorities and styles to what you would see at the cinema. The fact that a lot of people don't 'get' the parts of this film which seem to have no relevance is probably as much due to the difference in culture more than any wrongdoing on the production team's behalf. The same can be said for a lot of Hong Kong comedies, the 'humour' which would probably illicit a wry laugh back home flies miles over everybody else's head.
In that sort of circumstance, I've developed a good trick, I switch-off trying to figure out what all these little hints and gestures mean and concentrate on the character interactions and the scares. I've had a lot of practice, Western cinema in recent years has been guilty of 'rambling', and they've got no such excuse as 'cultural differences' ;)
Anyway, the movie! (good grief!), the plot's already been explained and probed, so I won't go into that. What this film has is a constant 'pressure', a claustrophobic atmosphere which persists regardless of the location. Clever camera work afoot! The palpable distance which the heroine feels from her family and the people around her (perhaps a symptom of not being able to communicate non-verbally with them so long? Perhaps not, but it's there) is always there too. You get the impression that she could be surrounded by a crowd and still walk alone from one side of a city to the other.
The smaller roles are played out very nicely, great acting considering the film concentrates almost solely on the two main characters.
The ending is a little bit of a let-down, predictable and not entirely 'working'. But, BUT, it isn't a catastrophe which ruins the film, which I'm sure you'll know what I mean. The ending of a film is what you're left with when you switch off the TV, and if it's bad, then so is the film.
This movie is the only one in recent years which actually gave me a start, and that's something. Real horror isn't about dripping guts and hooks with heads on them, it's about the unexpected, it's about being confronted with something terrifying, something which makes you wish the character was elsewhere. In order to achieve that, you need to give a damn about the character in the first place, which is where 90% of cheap horrors fall down. Not here, the characters are likable and have a little childlike innocence about them, you want to get in there and slap the more unpleasant visitors :P
All in all, I very much enjoyed watching this film, and intend to buy it when I find it for a pittance (almost all DVDs can be found for the right price at one time or another, shop around and ask people where they get their bargains). I would heartily recommend renting before buying, however. As several have mentioned already, there are several elements of this film which seem to have been deliberately copied from recent films such as Sixth Sense. If that prospect leaves a sour taste, I'd look elsewhere, but everyone else who hasn't had enough of all that yet should certainly have a look :D
Thanks for reading.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is not the first time that a movie where the main character gets
corneal transplants which not only make her see, but give her
paranormal capabilities has been done. A good reference is BLINK, where
Madeleine Stowe was the receiver of the creepy transplants, suddenly
able to see events from the past, and future. Here, the main character,
Mun (Angelica Lee), a blind violinist, receives the transplants.
Slowly, albeit a little too slowly, she becomes aware that aside from
being able to see the world for the first time, she can also see the
souls of the recently departed who also seem oddly attracted to her.
That she eventually sees the owner of the eyes (a girl about her age)
through her own reflection is an interesting, but not especially
shocking twist, but her plight to Thailand to track down the mystery
behind the girl and what she finds there does generate some needed
With this film, the Pang brothers only add to the growing statement that Asian horror is on the rise. While this is probably not the most memorable of the lot, it does have its own style, which is deliberately slow, much like THE SIXTH SENSE. The way these ghosts appear to her echo that film in tone and dread, and there are no sudden shocks here. Angelica Lee, with a totally expressive face, conveys the horror, and then determination, of a girl caught under a remarkable circumstance without betraying her own character development. The only sequence which rings false -- or forced, as to bring some impact -- is where she runs through the streets knowing that disaster is about to strike in the form of a gasoline tank, banging at car windows. I feel that THE EYE didn't need this sequence to be a chiller -- it kept reminding me of the similar climactic sequence in THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES --, and is the one point that detracts from the films honesty.
"The Eye"(2002)has to be one of the creepiest horror movies I have seen this year.The "transplant gone awry" concept has been done before-just check out "Body Parts"(1991)or the third story in the horror anthology "Body Bags"(1993),but the Pang Brothers created extremely eerie psychological horror with plenty of genuine scares.Angelica Lee is excellent as a young girl named Mun.Her numerous and extremely creepy encounters with the spirits Mun sees are filled with excellent use of sound.The conclusion is amazing and totally unexpected.The film is very scary and uncanny-it actually reminds me a bit Japanese horror hit "Ringu"(1998).Check it out,if you dare.9 out of 10.The elevator scene blew me away!
About three months ago, I was paging through cable and found a film
that looked intriguing. After watching for about five minutes I had the
pants scared off of me, so, being the complete wuss I am, I turned it
off. Curiosity made me want to go back to it, of course, so about
twenty minutes later I got up the guts to turn it back on. After about
two minutes, I was full on terrified, and turned it off for good. I
told some friends about this film, and all seemed intrigued, mainly
because of the scare factor, so this weekend we got around to finally
watching it. That movie of course, was the Pang Brothers' "The Eye", a
film that ended up being something completely different than what I was
In "The Eye", Wong Kar Mun (Lee) is a young blind woman who gets a corneal transplant. Soon after her operation, as her eyes are adjusting, she begins to see some pretty scary images; shadowy black figures hanging around people who later die, dead people themselves, and her room keeps doing a pesky trick where it changes on her as she's looking at it, furniture and all. Her doctor, Dr. Lo (a really young looking Edmund Chen) doesn't believe her at first, but then realizes that there may be some merit to her claims, so they go in search of the donor in order to find out what history her eyes' previous owner had, and what kind of baggage Wong Kar Mun has to deal with now.
Based on my first impressions of the film, I was actually expecting a big scare fest like "The Grudge"; short on story, big on scares. What I actually realized is that the two parts that I briefly watched were actually two out of the three genuinely scary parts of the film. (The elevator scene was enough to make me take the stairs today at work, seriously.) The rest of the film is certifiably creepy, but there is actually a decent story to support those creepy parts. "The Eye" has no doubt been compared to "The Sixth Sense" in terms of theme, but it is also similar in substance as well. Even without the scares, the film would be able to stand on its other merits. Some of the special effects in "The Eye" were kind of cheesy (basically Sci-Fi channel made-for-cable television caliber) and in typical Chinese film fashion, the music was horrible, but all told, it is a decent film.
After doing a little reading on the film, I saw that Tom Cruise's production company bought the rights to the film and are planning a remake. I'm not very educated on Asian horror films and their American remakes, (yet) but I think I would see it just out of mere curiosity, because I would imagine that they would take this relatively small film and mess with it to make it "bigger". "The Eye" is definitely worth checking out because while it definitely scared the pants off of me a couple of times, the rest of the film was really was worth sticking around to see how it all would end. 6/10 --Shelly
In Hong Kong, the eighteen years old Wong Kar Mun (Lee Sin-je) has been
blind since she was two years old. She submits to a surgery of cornea
transplantation, and while recovering from the operation, she realizes
that she is seeing dead people. With the support of Dr. Wah (Lawrence
Chou), Mun tries to find who was the donor of her eyes and resolve the
mystery of her visions.
"Jian gui" is really a very scary movie. Without being gore, the Pang brothers use visual and sound effects to create a frightening atmosphere. The result is magnificent and I really appreciated this film a lot. The first half of the story is amazingly scary, with the ghosts and the shadow man surprising Mun and the viewers. I was watching this movie alone late of the night, in a very dark ambient, and I startled many times. I really believe that fans like me of "Haunted", "The Sixth Sense", "The Others", "Ringu" and "El Espinazo del Diablo" will like this movie, which I include among my favorite ghost stories. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "The Eye A Herança" ("The Eye The Heritage")
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