• Martyn Wakefield

THE EYE [2002] (REVIEW)

Dir. The Pang Brothers

Reviewer. Dan Cook

Yet another horror gem that shows that best and most terrifying films are made in the East, The Pang Brothers’ superb Hong Kong/Singaporean thriller THE EYE is simultaneously a horrifying supernatural vision and a desperately emotional watch. Led by a fantastic and critically lauded performance from Malaysian actress Angelica Lee, ‘The Eye’ tells the story of Wong Kar Mun, a blind violinist who, after receiving a sight-saving corneal transplant, begins to be haunted by the ghostly apparitions of those unfortunate souls who suffered a sudden and unexpected death.


To say anymore about the plot would take away the impact of THE EYE so I’ll be purposefully quite vague here. What I will say is it that as someone who underwent a major existential crisis as a teenager regarding whether what I was seeing was actually real, THE EYE is a very unnerving movie indeed that drew up repressed imaginings of intense isolation and out-of-body paranoia. Brilliantly directed by the Pangs, the movie uses blurred cinematography and erratic camera work to emulate the visual phenomena Mun is experiencing and this helps us to fully both empathise with her nightmarish scenario and to be just as scared and as bewildered as she is. I’m not usually a fan of this of kinetic moviemaking as I think it detracts from the performances but THE EYE utilises it to astonishing effect. The phantoms themselves are very well realised too, serving not so much as objects of fear but of sadness and grief whose spirits are trapped by the conditions of their passings.


As was to be the case with most of the popular Asian horrors of the 90’s and ‘00’s, THE EYE endured a sub-par remake in 2008 that replaced all of the creepy subtlety of its predecessor with conventional jump scares and unconvincing performances. My advice, ignore that film and focus your attention on this instead. It really is something quite special.



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