PicturePresented in 1.85:1 widescreen the image is not the movies strong point. Early scenes are shot in brightly lit hospital rooms, and the slow and painful return of Muns vision is portrayed as dazzling bright light and out of focus long shots, great for building tension but not for testing you system. Picture quality is about what you would expect from a low budget Asian Indie-flick, mediocre. Grain and damage on the print are noticeable in every scene. Colour balance is accurate throughout, but detail levels are poorly resolved, and colours do bleed in the darker scenes, causing a loss of edge definition.
SoundThe soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 but with Cantonese as the spoken language. For those of you not fluent in the language, English subtitles are provided. I won't use this movie to develop a discussion of the relative merits of dubbing versus subtitling except to say I prefer dubbing. That said the sound varies from fair to very good. I can't help feeling that an opportunity to make the sound exceptional has been missed. There is a scene in the hospital very early on when Mun is adjusting to her new eyes. Having a highly developed sense of hearing means that every sound is magnified and echoes chillingly around the room. This heightens the tension in the scene wonderfully, and gives your surround channels a real test but it is the auditory highlight, and the rest of the movie is adequate at best.
ExtrasThese consist of a short making of featurette with lead actors, the Pang twins and producers. It is interesting to note that many of the incidents in the movie were gleaned from actual incidents from the Hong Kong newspapers, or experiences of the people involved it the movies development. Indeed the idea, for the struggles of a blind person being gifted sight by doctors is based on a case in Hong Kong, when the recipient simply could not cope with the seeing world and tragically hung herself one week after the surgery. Death is frightening, but not as frightening as life it seems.
Also included is the US trailer, and T.V spot and promotional preview of 3 upcoming DVD releases.
VerdictHorror is a hard genre to do well, and many fail to provide anything more than cheap thrills, but The Eye, at least in the opening two thirds, provides a good work out for the adrenal glands. It makes the pulse race, and the palms sweat, and just manages to avoid running out of steam and ideas before the end. The presentation is below the standard you would expect for a modern DVD release, and the extras provide only a minor diversion, but the Pang brothers join the Farrallys, and the Wachowskis as a double act worth watching.
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