The Eye (aka Jian gui) DVD Review
Reviewed by Peter West
DVD released by Panorama Entertainment
Directed by Oxide Pang Chun & Danny Pang
Written by Jo Jo Yuet-chun Hui & Oxide Pang Chun
2002, 98 minutes, Not rated
Angelica Lee as Mun (as Lee Sin-je)
Lawrence Chou as Dr. Wah
Chutcha Rujinanon as Ling
Yut Lai So as Ying Ying
Candy Lo as Yee
Yin Ping Ko as Mun's grandmother
Pierre Png as Dr. Eak
Edmund Chen as Dr. Lo
Wai-Ho Yung as Mr. Ching
Wilson Yip as Taoist
Blind since the age of 2 Mun undergoes a cornea transplant to regain her site. While in the hospital she befriends a terminally ill girl named Ying Ying who helps her handle the adjustment to seeing again. Mun soon finds out that her restored vision is allowing her to see more than is normally visible to the naked eye. Starting with a old woman who dies in a bed across from her in the hospital, Mun sees people take that final journey to the hereafter led by a dark specter. Worse though after arriving home Mun finds that she can also see lost souls confined to the place of their death because of taking their own life.
Her new "gift" is too much for Mun to handle and Mun lapses back to living in the world of the sightless. Her psychiatrist Dr. Wah starts investigating the source of her corneas and along with Mun they go to Thailand to find out the circumstances of the donor Ling's death. Upon arriving, Ling's doctor explains her troubled life and death whose parallels to Mun's own problems now are disturbing.
In the style of Hitchcock and DePalma, The Eye is a suspense thriller that will keep your attention throughout!
The Eye is a film I have some mixed feelings about. While having some great moments of suspense, the overall pace of the film is slow. This does allow for some excellent character development. Where my feelings are mixed is in the idea of calling this a "horror" movie. I would like to describe it more as a suspenseful thriller. There are some elements which could be said are derived from The Sixth Sense however I would really disagree with that comparison. Outside of the fact Mon "see's dead people", there are no similarities.
Overall I would describe The Eye as a superior film and a prime example of the fine films being made in Asia today. That may be why some of Asia's top films such as The Eye are getting domestic releases in the theater and on DVD. While this does not have the true feeling of terror one may get from Ringu, The Eye is one Asian film you should not miss!
Video and Audio:
The Eye is presented in a 1.85:1 transfer. The picture is clear and sharp and especially good on the location shots. Unfortunately the Panorama version I am reviewing is not anamorphic. The domestic release from Lions Gate is anamorphic as well as a Korean release by Enter One. I would recommend those if like myself, you own a 16x9 HDTV.
The highlight of this version of The Eye is a Cantonese DTS 5.1 soundtrack. There is also a Dolby 2.0 Cantonese and Mandarin soundtrack. While not a extremely lively track, The Eye does have it's share of thrills and in the end a big bang!
Three trailers from other films released by Panorama Entertainment.
Films that Peter West reviews are viewed on a Mitsubishi WS-55413 HDTV and listened to on a THX certified Pioneer Elite VSX-55TXi A/V Receiver through a 7.1 setup of JBL Northridge E series Speakers.