The Eye 2002 ★★★

One of the most often used cliches in football, certainly here in the UK, is to describe a game as a "game of two halves". Which, when you think about it, is one of the more pointless cliches you will ever encounter. But until the last 20 minutes of The Eye, it was approximately the phrase that was swimming round and round my head.

And then the last 20 minutes happens, unfurling in an extraordinary and destructive manner that is quite unlike anything I have ever seen, certainly from a recent Asian horror film, and I'm left searching for sports that are played in three parts. Ice hockey is, isn't it? Do they use the phrase "A game of three thirds" in that? I don't know, I don't watch ice hockey and nobody can make me.

Angelica Lee undergoes a cornea transplant operation, receiving a new pair of eyes from a donor. All seems well to start with, until she starts seeing ghosts knocking around the hospital. As usual, no-one believes her except for a dishy doctor and they set off to Thailand to find out who said donor was and why she might be spotting spooks.

It's about the time they go to Thailand that the film all of a sudden drops from being a spooky and really visually gorgeous little chiller to being an utterly dull and plodding drama as they attempt to find this donor. It then almost redeems itself with that finale, but no-one could ever call this a beautifully structured film. You can almost see the lines drawn through the film separating start, middle and ending.

As such, it's a pretty hard film to judge and even rate, because it is undeniably enjoyable in its top and tail. If they could have found something at least remotely interesting in the middle section, then this could have been one of the most interesting and stunning horror films of the decade. As it is, it's merely another visually arresting film in the Pang Brothers canon that doesn't quite come together as a whole. They're pretty good at that.

2 Comments

  • curious - I've noted the inclusion of this film on virtually every Chinese DVD pirate horror multi-pack I've come across... oh:I've had a corneal transplant operation too... maybe I should see it now.

  • It's worth a watch because there is some very good stuff in it, but have a newspaper handy for the middle bit.

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