The Eye - (Chinese) review by The Grim Ringler

The Eye

God bless Asian horror films. I swear, sometimes, as a horror movie fan, I get all despondent when Halloween 17 opens (and I am a fan of those movies and all but man, just let the brother die and move on, cripes, or at least do something original – make him the boogeyman they say he is, make him a force, something akin to Death, do SOMETHING!) and that’s all we have as a choice in theaters. Ack! But then you run into a movie like The Eye and egad do you get a nice karate chop to the scary bone, reminding you that yes, there are some neat horror films still popping up from time to time, shockingly enough.

Now I got my filthy peepers on The Eye via a friend, one Mr. Oktober, that found a copy at a comic con – praise be to bootleggers – after we had both read some intriguing things about it. And to be true, if nothing else, you can get a chance to see this in the next year or two, in an Americanized version now that Hollywood has snatched up the re-make rights to it ala The Ring (over-rated, that’s all I will say, the original was over-rated). But I truly hope you can see this version some day as it is a really wonderful fright film.

The Eye follows Mun Mun, a cute Asian girl (which always seem to be in abundance in Asian films) who has been blind since she was two. Thanks to the wonders of science though Mun Mun will soon be able to see again, and when she does, it’s as if an entire world has opened up before her and she must slowly adjust to it all. As she is adjusting though she begins to see flashes, brief images of phantoms that appear from nothing and return to nothing. She tries to play this off as just a series of hallucinations or even that she is seeing people that just disappear on her, but she quickly finds that what she is seeing are the souls of the dead that still walk the earth, their business unfinished and their souls trapped. Frightened as she begins to see more and more of these phantoms, even seeing them as they are accompanied by what she dubs ‘shadows’, or spirits that usher the others into the next world, she reaches out for help, to her doctor, her family, and even her psychologist, but no one believes her, and as the visions get more intense she begins to regress into her life as a blind woman. Desperate to help her though is her psychologist, who finds himself in love with this strange and haunted woman and suddenly caught up in her nightmare, so Mun Mun and he go off in search of who it is that had the eyes she now has, a path which leads to a small village and the story of a young woman damned with psychic visions and hated for these visions. Unable to live with her visions of impending doom, and haunted by the lives she feels she was unable to save from their fate, the woman kills herself and now, her eyes in another woman, their gift and curse has been passed onto Mun Mun who must come to terms with what all of the visions mean and what she needs to do about them.

As always, I will leave a bit out concerning the plot because, well, if I told you the entire plot, what would the point be in seeing the damned thing eh? Needless to say that what seems to be a happy becomes the greatest challenge yet for Mun Mun and her spurious gift and leads to one hell of a finale.

Shot beautifully and acted well, this is easily the best horror film from Asia I have seen since Audition, and one of the best I have seen at all. Both haunting and tragic, the story really makes you feel for Mun Mun and those she sees, and the phantoms become so that we aren’t quite sure who is real and who isn’t anymore, keeping us off balance and not even trusting our own eyes. This is a really great horror film and I hope that by some miracle it’s released here – PLEASE?? – but, seeing how Hollywood likes to imagine that their remakes are not remakes at all but are the genuine article, well, I wouldn’t hold my breath. There are places you might check though to see if they are coming out, being one such place. Find this movie by any means necessary, it’s what The Ring wanted to be, but wasn’t smart enough to achieve. …c…

8 out of 10 Jackasses

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