The Eye

Spooky and character-driven, this stylish ghost story owes a great deal to contemporary Japanese ghost movies in general and M. Night Shyamalan's THE SIXTH SENSE (1999) in particular but weaves a creepy spell all its own. Capable, resilient Mun (Taiwanese singer Lee Sin-Je), blind since early childhood, receives a corneal transplant that restores her sight......read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Spooky and character-driven, this stylish ghost story owes a great deal to contemporary Japanese ghost movies in general and M. Night Shyamalan's THE SIXTH SENSE (1999) in particular but weaves a creepy spell all its own. Capable, resilient Mun (Taiwanese singer Lee Sin-Je), blind since early childhood, receives a corneal transplant that restores her sight... and then some. An adjustment period is normal, Mun's doctors assure her; blurring, shadowing and other visual abnormalities are nothing to worry about. But as Mun's eyes and mind gradually readjust to the everyday barrage of images sighted people take for granted, she realizes that some of what she's experiencing isn't normal at all. She sees shadowy figures lurking around hospital corridors and accident scenes, unfamiliar surroundings from the vantage point of her own bed and, worst of all, dead people: A child who jumped from a window in her apartment building, the old woman with whom she shared a hospital room, a little boy down by a car moments earlier. Mun's grandmother and sister are worried, and Mun herself progresses rapidly from confused to scared to death. Predictably, Mun's surgeon pooh-poohs her concerns and sends her to a psychiatrist, Dr. Wah (Lawrence Chou). But Dr. Wah is gradually persuaded that his patient's troubles go far beyond a difficult post-operative convalescence. He pulls strings to find out whose corneas Mun was given, and what he learns about the donor is enlightening if not precisely reassuring, starting with the fact that she committed suicide. Hong Kong-born, Thai-based twins Danny and Oxide Pang — who made an international splash with their joint directing debut, the deliriously violent and luridly sentimental BANGKOK DANGEROUS — adopt an assured and impressively restrained approach for this psychological horror tale that. They deliver a series of truly creepy sequences (including elevator scene guaranteed to spook both claustro- and spectrophobics) that play on classic anxiety-producing thoughts — "What was that funny-looking blur I saw out of the corner of my eye?" "Am I awake or still dreaming?" "Is there someone right behind me, maybe floating a couple of inches above the floor?" — and work up to a truly apocalyptic climax that's as spectacular as it is dramatically satisfying. (In Cantonese, Mandarin and Thai, with English language subtitles.)

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  • Released: 2002
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Spooky and character-driven, this stylish ghost story owes a great deal to contemporary Japanese ghost movies in general and M. Night Shyamalan's THE SIXTH SENSE (1999) in particular but weaves a creepy spell all its own. Capable, resilient Mun (Taiwanese… (more)

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