The Eye Review
Scaring audiences is easy. A sudden discordant note, the quick reveal, buckets of gore. Yes, even you macho men out there have to admit these tactics make you jump. Terror, now that is a much harder trick to perform. Building panic and tension with a sense of foreboding but without any of the “cheap” tactics mentioned above is a rare skill. On the basis of The Eye, directors the Pang brothers have the skill. They use it expertly, to leave you uncomfortably glancing at the shadowy branches at the window, and listening with renewed enthusiasm to the creaking of the floorboards on the landing. They play with your fear like a cat taunts a mouse, before pouncing for the kill.
The Eye tells the story of Mun (Lee Sin-Je) a young woman blinded from the age of two. She is given the opportunity to regain her sight by undergoing corneal transplant surgery. Despite her initial excitement at the thought of seeing the beauty of the world once again, relying as she does on distant childhood memories, this excitement soon turns sour when, through the painful brightness, she begins to see shadowy figures. It soon becomes clear that with her “gift” of vision comes a curse of foresight. With the help of her doctor Mun must track down the donor and discover the truth of her death, or endure a life of fear and waking nightmares.
The Eye has clear parallels with films like The Sixth Sense and Don't Look Now, but does stand up well in comparison. The opening hour in particular is cleverly conceived, using Mun's point of view to flood the images with out of focus shadows and half seen figures, allowing our fear and apprehension to build as we can see the danger that Mun can't. The most chilling scene is played out in the elevator in Mun's apartment block, and is pant-wettingly good. Like most things in life it's not all good news. The final thirty minutes fails to hold the vice-like grip on your adrenaline in the same way the first hour does, and the finale is a slight let down, with some mediocre special effects, but this does not detract from feeling that you can skip the Weetabix in the morning, 'cos opening your bowels will not be a problem.