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Red Eye DVD Review (Region 3)

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by Seth Gecko, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. Seth Gecko

    Seth Gecko
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    <P STYLE='text-align: center'><FONT STYLE='font-size: 18px'><IMG SRC='http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/RedEye/RedEyeR3.jpg' ALT='RED EYE DVD cover artwork' ALIGN='RIGHT'>RED EYE</FONT><br>Reviewed July 2005 by <A HREF='search.php?do=process&query=Russell Rafferty&showposts=1&forumchoice[]=107&forumchoice[]=197' target='_top'>Russell Rafferty</A>.</P><P><B>The Movie : 7</B></P><P>I have had this movie to review for a while and, to be honest, I wish that I had watched it earlier. This is one of the better eastern horror movies out there repaying a patient mind, much like Sixth Sense, with much enjoyment. </p> <P>Red Eye introduces us to a series of characters, the subtitles written in such a way as to make them seem like “regular” people. They all get onto the last train to wherever, leaving at midnight, before learning that this is the last trip this train will make before becoming obsolete. It transpires that a number of years ago this very train was involved in a crash which killed 250 people making this final journey an anniversary of sorts. Even some of the old carriages from the wrecked train have been re-used on this trip. As the journey progresses, the atmosphere becomes more oppressive, with small weird things insinuating themselves into the everyday (or night) humdrum journey. Eventually people begin to disappear and full on visions of the past train wreck invades the traveller’s thoughts, even though the point of the spirit’s visions is unclear. </p> <P>Red Eye is a traditional ghost story or, more correctly, a ghost <i>train</i> story. Now, I am sure there have been loads of ghost train movies, but the only one I can recall is Dr Terror’s House of Horrors. Even then, it is a bit of a stretch to call it an actual ghost train movie. The point I am getting at is I don’t have any other movies to contrast against Red Eye, which is a refreshing change amongst a bucket load of “me too” Ringu rip-offs. The first thing you notice is the confined areas that the train provides. Whether in the drinks store room or the toilet, there is no room for the camera or the actors to move, adding intensity to proceedings when things start to go pear shaped. Of course this isn’t new; most horror movies conspire to get the protagonists in a situation where they cannot be helped. What is unusual about the train setting is that the mobile phone “get out of jail free problem” is removed. You can imagine in the Shining a simple mobile call to some nearby friendly neighbour would render the whole movie academic, and the “we have no signal” is becoming very tiresome. However, not a lot of options are available on the end of a mobile for a 100 tonne train that is half in our reality to be hauled to a stop from 120 mph without causing a crash that the passengers are trying to avoid in the first place. All this adds to the fresh feeling this movie has and the more original something feels, the more impact it has. To me Red Eye has impact by the skip full. </p><P>I must say that the art design is very good indeed, especially when the ghost train begins to manifest. The two worlds of the spirit and reality are easily identifiable, though cunningly the transitions are not. In some scenes, the claustrophobic sets and focussed acting allow the cinematographer to subtly introduce the spirit realm without the watcher noticing until just the right moment.
    Red Eye is a success because the stories of the main characters, which caress each other as they develop, are genuinely intriguing. You become interested in their back-story, especially as they converge towards the end, bringing some of the more disjointed story points into focus. I say some, as there are some aspects of Red Eye that remain rather obtuse. There is a small boy who remains something of a mystery to me, though he does offer some disquieting moments. I would also say the title – referring to the photographic fault when the flash reflects the back of the eye – is a misnomer. While there are some important scenes that involve photos, none of them have anything to do with red eye. While that is a small gripe indeed, the ending is a bigger problem. You could call it the “Saw Problem” if you were trying to be funny, where the movie makers have no idea how to end their project, and so use several in the hopes that one of them will satisfy. What happens in reality is the ending as it should have been is diluted to the point of parody and the actual final scene looses any impact what so ever. This is exactly what Red Eye achieves with the last scene being incongruous with both the feel and content of the movie. </p><P><B>Picture : 6</B></P><P>As with a lot of Asian discs, the picture quality can be variable. While Red Eye is still a mixed bag, it is much less obvious than some others. In some areas, like the spiritual ghost train scenes, the colours and contrasts are well defined. There are subtle tones and none of the blooming you see in low budget movies when bright and dark areas collide onscreen. There is blocking in some places along with very obvious banding in some of the portrait style shots where one of the characters is facing camera with a blank wall, or black backdrop, behind them. I couldn’t see any edge enhancements whatsoever, which is just as well as detail is actually very good. I suppose that one criticism is that the two different realms are represented as differing colour pallets: green or blue for ghost realm and a high contrast bright setting for reality. Neither one has the opportunity to offer good colour range and, after prolonged exposure (like Matrix), things can get a bit muddy. Especially as the amount of colour filtering differs from scene to scene; some shots will be very blue, you will then have a period of normalcy and then another stretch of a faintly bluish scenes. This is a stylistic thing, but it can get a bit too in you face.</p><P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC='http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/RedEye/RedEyeR3_1.jpg' ALT='RED EYE'></P><P><B>Sound : 8</B></P><P>I still hold Master and Commander as one of the best examples of sound mixing and I suspect that Red Eye would be better if the content would allow a more aggressive mix. As it is sound was superb, though I could hear no difference between the half bitrate DTS and Dolby Digital track. Both have impact and use the rear channels as well as any movie I have listened to, recently. Dialogue is clear when not badly dubbed. Some “humming” scenes are awful, the replacement voice not even remotely close to the actor’s. Bass freaks will be left disappointed, but that is again a content issue. The train does sound suitably meaty, though, and some fast paced musical queues are very well done. </p><P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC='http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/RedEye/RedEyeR3_2.jpg' ALT='RED EYE'></P><P><B>Extras : 5</B></P><P>There are quite a few extras on the second disc, but all of them are in Korean. This isn’t a surprise, neither is the lack of English subtitles. That does mean that I could not watch them and offer any intelligent advice. However, there will be a number (maybe quite a few) Korean speaking people reading these reviews. So I have given a score reflecting what I would normally give this kind of content on another disc. The extras, like behind the scenes and interviews are commonplace and, from what I saw, I didn’t think the Koreans differed wildly from their western counterparts.</p><P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC='http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/RedEye/RedEyeR3_3.jpg' ALT='RED EYE'></P><P><B>Trivia</B><br><P>For user information we use Bitrate 1.4 to scan the disk for the video bitrate, which also calculates the average bitrate. Below is a graph illustrating the bitrate of the disk, including the average bitrate reading. This disk averaged at 7.5 Mbps.</p></P><P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC='http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/RedEye/RedEyeR3_Bitrate.jpg' ALT='RED EYE'></P><P><B>Verdict : 7</B></P><P>If you stop the film after the first ending, you will think this a wonderful thing – certainly the introduction is almost the complete opposite in terms of feel and execution. However, the actual ending is so rubbish it nearly makes the whole movie senseless. Otherwise I thought the movie to be original, well balanced and unusually subtle in its build-up. </p><div ALIGN='CENTER'>Review Disc Supplied by <a href="http://global.yesasia.com/assocred.asp?W7QIPXOV+/en/prdTransfer.aspx/pid-1003985712" target=”_blank”><img src="http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/SuppliersLogos/YesAsia.jpg" Align="absmiddle"></a><br>Please support us by using our review sponsors.</div><TABLE border='0' CELLPADDING='0' CELLSPACING='2' WIDTH='100%'><TR><TD COLSPAN='2'><B>RED EYE (2005)</B></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Genre</TD><TD><A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=exact&searchfield=genre&search_for=HORROR' target='_blank'>HORROR</A></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Director</TD><TD><A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=director&search_for=DONG-BIN KIM' target='_blank'>DONG-BIN KIM</A></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Stars</TD><TD><A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=SHIN-YEONG JANG' target='_blank'>SHIN-YEONG JANG</A>, <A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=JI-MIN KWAK' target='_blank'>JI-MIN KWAK</A>, <A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=DONG-KYU LEE' target='_blank'>DONG-KYU LEE</A>, <A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=HYE-NA KIM' target='_blank'>HYE-NA KIM</A></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65'><B>Region</B></TD><TD><B>3</B> <FONT>(KOREA)</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Supplier</TD><TD><FONT>IVision Entertainment. Released Thursday 21st April 2005</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>SRP</TD><TD><FONT>$29.99</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Discs</TD><TD><FONT>2</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Format</TD><TD><FONT>DVD9</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Time</TD><TD><FONT>98 mins.</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Chapters</TD><TD><FONT>20</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Picture</TD><TD>Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1&nbsp;</TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Sound</TD><TD>Korean <IMG SRC='http://www.totaldvd.net/images/dts.gif' ALIGN='ABSMIDDLE' border='0' ALT='DTS Soundtrack'> 5.1<BR>Korean Dolby Digital 5.1<BR>Korean Dolby Digital 2.0</TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Subtitles</TD><TD>English, Korean</TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Case</TD><TD>Amaray in Slipcase</TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Extras</TD><TD>Making of the film<BR>Interviews with the actors<BR>Special effects feature</TD></TR></TABLE><P STYLE='text-align: center'>If you would like to comment on this review, please reply below.</P>
     
  2. Marc

    Marc
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    i've been thinking about getting this for a while, but have been put off because i had a feeling everything would be in korean. I think i might wait for a western release before picking this up, i'm sure tartan will get their mitts on it eventually. The movie does sound intriguing though, and i'm not surprised the ending is bad, because i reckon 8/10 horror movies have bad endings, it's just one of those things i guess..
     
  3. Seth Gecko

    Seth Gecko
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    I've had this kicking about for ages Marc and although as you state, most horror movie endings are weak (and don't even get me going on how people think the Grudge is scary ;) ) this is definitely worth a flutter. Not all of Tartan's stuff gets the 2 Disk treatment - for every "Into The Mirror" there's a "Casshern" (The DTS track is missing on the Tartan release IIRC).

    It's even got quite a nice slipcase too ;)

    Nice review BTW Russell.
     
  4. Marc

    Marc
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    the japanese version of the grudge is a bit scary :p with all the croaking and that. the american one was just crap though.. true what you say about tartan though, they're very hit and miss, my region 2 copy of dark water is bloody awful but ringu isn't too bad.

    does the slipcase have a hole in the front showing the train through it or something? i saw a pic of it on a korean site and that was the impression i got.

    well anyway, if you get bored of it, feel free to sell it to me on the forums :p
     
  5. Seth Gecko

    Seth Gecko
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    Sell?? Nothing from my collection goes mate :) Besides to be honest I got mine from Yesasia before Russell wrote the review as it seemed a tad different to the norm from the spiel.

    The slipcase I've got has a red transparent window so it give a nice red look until you slip the case out, although I don't recall it being an amaray (maybe a first edition thing?)
     
  6. russraff

    russraff
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    Seth,

    Thanks for the complement. I will check on the type of case, I am sure it's an amaray... I was really surprised by this movie, being a far better, more evenly paced, horror movie than some far eastern content. In fact I think that the quality of horror movies from the eastern countries is getting a bit stale, recently, making Red Eye all the better. Certainly the best horror movie I have seen in recent months is a Canadian one called Dark Hours - dunno if it is on disc, yet, as I saw it at the cinema.

    Russell
     
  7. SeedyR

    SeedyR
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    Just seen that Wes Craven has done a film called Red Eye due out this year, however this is set on a plane and sounds a lot more like a thriller than a horror. I don't think this is a Hollywood remake for once!
     

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