The Eye
PANORAMA ENTERTAINMENT
 
Starring:
Directed By:
The Pang Brothers
Year:
2002
Run Time:
98 mins
Producer: Panorama Entertainment
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Languages:
CANTONESE DTS, Mandarin 2.0 Stereo, Cantonese 2.0 Stereo
Subtitles:
English, Chinese
W/S Subtitles:
Yes
Ratio:
1.85::1 Non-Anamorphic
Region:
NTSC 0
Genre:
Drama / Supernatural / Horror - IIB
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MOVIE
10/10

It's 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 get.
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.

To 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.

PICTURE
7/10

Knowing nothing about Panorama I had little idea of what to expect of this DVD's transfer.
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.

SOUND
10/10

Whilst 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 the viewer.

Easily the best DTS soundtrack to be found on a Hong Kong DVD.

SUBTITLES
8/10

For 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.

EXTRAS
3/10

Sadly, 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'.

PACKAGING
8/10

A creepy front cover, and a very well designed back, make for a classy sleeve.
However, DO NOT READ THE SYNOPSIS - It gives away a major twist in the film, and although excellently written, will detract from the experience.

CONCLUSION
9/10

A 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.

MOVIE 10/10
PICTURE
7/10
SOUND
10/10
SUBTITLES
8/10
EXTRAS
3/10
MENUS
8/10
PACKAGING
7/10
OVERALL
9/10