been a long while since a film, Eastern or otherwise, tingled my
spine in quite the same way as 'The Eye'.
Featuring an unknown (to me) cast and director, the movie's striking
visuals, and a score by turns chilling and moving, combine in a
thought provoking and breathtaking experience.
Mun (Angelica Lee) has been blind
since the age of two. Living most of her life without the gift of
sight, Mun jumps at the chance to have her vision restored. The
operation appears a total success until Mun begins to see people
others are oblivious to.
As her ability to see these figures grows, so do her feelings of
utter terror. Seeking an answer to the questions which threaten
to unhinge her mind, Mun enlists the help of a psychiatrist (Lawrence
Chou) in a final attempt to put her fears to rest. But the truth
she uncovers couldn't be more disturbing...
The Eye will undoubtedly draw some fair (and unfair) comparisons
with the equally excellent 'The Sixth Sense'.
A film whose protagonist sees dead people, and is unaware of how
to deal with this unwelcome ability, are as close as the two films
The Pang Brothers' production decides to contemplate the effect
this "gift" has on ones' mind and quality of life. Mun seems to
exist in a state of limbo -living in neither the spirit, nor the
human world, and the obvious effects this has on herself and her
family are impressively explored.
One surprising element which
is woven into this excellent production is the use of many high
quality CGI effects. These numerous additions range from full-blown
explosions and super-imposed images, to far subtler morphing effects.
Regardless of the type of effect utilised, these are as impressive
as I've seen in a Hong Kong film, and certainly hold their own against
many a US blockbuster.
some degree, the films' dramatic tension dissipates after the explanation
of Mun's visions, but this is then swept aside upon the arrival
of the heartbreaking finale to this terific and terrifying film.
nothing about Panorama I had little idea of what to expect of this
Detail, colour and black levels never quite hit the heights they
should, although the transfer is far from unwatchable.
Some artifacting is noticeable and the print occasionally exhibits
some signs of wear, but this is generally good.
the Dolby 2.0 stereo mix found on the disc is loud and clear, it
pales in comparison to the sterling DTS soundtrack.
The film's score makes your skin crawl and your heart miss a beat
on a regular basis. Rarely have I felt so unnerved whilst watching
a film, but The Eye makes this an art form, skilfully manipulating
Easily the best DTS soundtrack to be found on a Hong Kong DVD.
the most part, the well-sized, clearly designed subs do a very good
job of translating the films' script.
A few grammatical errors, and an odd repeating of certain lines
cause some distraction, but these are of an otherwise high standard.
Also, most Chinese text is translated.
the original theatrical trailer is nowhere to be found, but what
is left are the extraordinary trailers for 'Avalon' and 'Nowhere
To Hide', alongside 'Blow'.
creepy front cover, and a very well designed back, make for a classy
However, DO NOT READ THE SYNOPSIS - It gives away a major
twist in the film, and although excellently written, will detract
from the experience.
film of such exceptional quality, featuring a superb cast and a
gripping, thoughtful storyline deserved a far stronger DVD.
Whilst picture quality is somewhat disappointing, the quite terrifying
soundtrack just about makes up for it.
Buy this film, feel the fear, and be all the better for it.