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2004 Mini Reviews

The Eye (2003)

The Eye
(Jian Gui) Japanese
Directed by Oxide Pang Chun and Danny Pang
Starring Angelica Lee, Lawrence Chou
Running Time: 99 minutes

This derivative horror film from Hong Kong will inevitably, and maybe inappropriately, be compared to the innovative Japanese horror film Ringu, and the subsequent American remake. In fact, there are notable similarities between the films, enough to suggest that the filmmakers were probably inspired by the Japanese classic.

Unfortunately, The Eye cannot live up to that comparison. It winds up being a somewhat entertaining, yet highly flawed mediocre film.

The plot revolves around the main character Mun (Angelica Lee), who was formerly blind, but with corrective surgery and a cornea donor, her sight is restored. But for some reason she is cursed with the gift of second sight, meaning she can see the dead. Lee does a good job with the role and the first half of the film is quite strong.

The film falls apart towards the end, much like Ringu, as the story takes them to Bangkok, Thailand, and an entirely new lengthy backstory is introduced. It is also around this time that some cheap filmmaking tricks are used in order to build suspense, which really wasn't necessary considering the strength of the first half of the film. I had originally been entranced by Mun, but by the end I didn't care any longer for the character.

Interestingly enough, I understand there is a remake in the works. Usually I would be skeptical, but after The Ring, which I thought was superior to its source material, I'm eager to see how this project turns out.

Score: 6/10