The Eye (2002)
Written By: JR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Danny Pand and Oxide Chun Pang (Pang Brothers)
Producer: Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Lawrence Cheng et al.
Screenwriter: Yuet-Jan Hui, Danny Pangm, and Oxide Chun Pang
Date Released: May 9, 2002
Angelica Lee as Wong Kar Mun
Lawrence Chou as Dr. Wah
Edmund Chen as Dr. Lo
Yut Lai So as Yingying
Candy Lo as Yee (Mun’s Sister)
Yin Ping Ko as Mun’s Grandmother
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Being blind since she was two years old, violinist Wong Kar Mun undergoes a corneal transplant. After a successful operation, she starts to see shadows guiding dying patients in the hospital to the afterlife. She later discovers that she can see spirits wherever she goes. Dr. Wah, her psychotherapist, believes that the new corneas are causing the problem. As Wong Kar Mun and Dr. Wah fly to Thailand to learn about the cornea donor, they are enlightened about the curse and blessing of having a gifted sense of sight.
The Gore Factor
Angelica’s (Wong Kar Mun) third eye exposes most of the gore in the film. Through shots tailored to her perspective, spirits of the dead can be witnessed. The most exciting part is the fact that she can identify how and when a specific person died through their marks of injuries and paleness. The film becomes scary when charred bodies are coming closer to her during a truck explosion without anyone seeing it. Due to the gift of sight, she feels alienated while tolerating disturbing visions.
The Grave Review
The Eye (2002) is a Hongkong-Singaporean horror film spawned into two sequels by the Pang Brothers. The brothers have pulled off a hilarious irony on this one, making a blind protagonist undergo surgery only to be wakeful to the realm of the dead, besides the living. Their directorial talent extends from a common third-eye plot to a dreamy range of views.
The cinematography mirrors Wong Kar Wai’s kinetic camerawork in his romantic films. They have made this framing work in horror which totally magnifies scary images and visual flares. It must have been a wrong decision to bombard the finale with juvenile CGI because it ruins the artistic quality of the film. In spite of that, they have successfully brought constant surprise and a suspenseful build-up.
The love angle between Dr. Wah and Wong Kar Mun is a little bit cheesy and abrupt, but it is forgivable. They have compensated for it by giving an unpredictable twist and turn of events. When everything seems resolved and Wong Kar Mun has finally developed some courage to own the gift, she then realizes that the reflection she sees in the mirror is not her but the owner of the corneas. All the more impressive, they have written a folkloric backstory reminiscent of the Wiccan anecdotes.
The Eye (2002) encourages the audience to uncover the roots of visionary powers and the unique concept of life and death it regards. It seems to work better as a mystery rather than a horror film. Although the i-see-dead-people storyline is too familiar in the genre, the Pang Brothers have, without doubt, dodged mediocrity while adding to the trope.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Eye (2002) three graves out of five graves.
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