The Eye (2002)

Angelica Lee, Chutcha Rujinanon, Lawrence Chou, Jinda Duangtoy,
A blind girl gets a cornea transplant so that she will be able to see again. She gets more than she bargained for upon realizing she can also see ghosts.
  • 6.7 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Yuet-Jan Hui, Writer:
  • Danny Pang, Oxide Chun Pang, Director:
  • Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Lawrence Cheng, Producer:


8 / 10

One of the year's best horror movies, though the subtitles will sadly put many people off

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.

10 / 10

Good and scary!!!

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!!!

7 / 10

Another Excellent Alternative to Mainstream Cinema

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.

7 / 10

Don't dare blink as you may miss something.

Wong Kar Mun went blind at the age of two, 18 years later she undergoes a cornea transplant that appears to be a success. Unfortunately that success comes with a terrifying side-effect; the ability to see unhappy ghosts.

Gin Gwai (The Eye) is directed by the Pang brothers Oxide and Danny and stars Angelica Lee (Mun) and Lawrence Chou (Dr.Wah) as the two main principals.

No matter what source of reference you use for film reviews, one thing that can be guaranteed as regards Gin Gwai is how divided people are on it. One of the few things that most tend to agree on though is that it's visual flourishes are nothing short of fantastic. And they are. Blended with the editing, music, sound, camera-work and the effects, it therefore fuels the fire of those calling it style over substance. It's also fair to drop onside with those folk decrying the over familiarity with its central themes. If you have seen Irvin Kershner's The Eyes Of Laura Mars, Michael Apted's Blink and M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense, well you wont be watching anything thematically new here. But the Pang brothers have crafted a thoroughly engrossing, menacing and nerve gnawer of a film, one that delivers chills and scares for the discerning horror sub-genre fan.

Here's the crux of the matter with Gin Gwai, it is the opposite side of the Asian horror coin to the likes of the blood letting Audition. This is pure and simply for those not in need of murder death kill to fulfil their horror needs. I was creeped out immensely by this film because the ghost and supernatural side of horror is what really works for me, as long as it is done effectively. To which Gin Gwai most assuredly is. The various scenes shift from ethereal unease to hold your breath terror, from classrooms to lifts, to hospital wards, the brothers Pang, with beautiful technical expertise, held me over a precipice of dread. Even the opening credits are inventive and have the ability to send a cautionary shiver down ones spine. There's a barely formed, and pointless, romantic angle that marks it down a point, but as the blistering (literally) last quarter assaults the senses and so does the time for reflection arrive. Gin Gwai ends up being one of this decades best horror pictures. Well to me at least. 9/10

9 / 10

Very creepy horror film.

"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!