A Tale Of Two Sisters

Friday Fright Fest: The Best Foreign Psychological/Mystery Horror Films

#5. The Eye | 2002 | Hong Kong/Singapore

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A blind girl gets a cornea transplant so that she will be able to see again. She gets more than she bargained for upon realizing she can also see ghosts.

No matter what source of reference you use for film reviews, one thing that can be guaranteed in regards to Gin Gwai aka The Eye is how divided people are on it. One of the few things that most tend to agree on though is that its visual flourishes are nothing short of fantastic. And they are. Blended with the editing, music, sound, camera-work and effects, it therefore fuels the fire of those calling it style over substance. It’s also fair to drop onside with those folk decrying the over-familiarity with its central themes.

If you have seen Irvin Kershner’s The Eyes Of Laura Mars, Michael Apted’s Blink and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense, well you won’t be watching anything thematically new here. But the Pang brothers have crafted a thoroughly engrossing, menacing and nerve-gnawer of a film, one that delivers chills and scares for the discerning horror sub-genre fan.

This is pure and simple for those not in need of murder death kills to fulfil their horror needs. I was creeped out immensely by this film because the ghost and supernatural side of horror is what really works for me, as long as it is done effectively. To which Gin Gwai most assuredly is. The various scenes shift from ethereal unease to hold-your-breath terror, from classrooms to lifts, to hospital wards, the brothers Pang, with beautiful technical expertise, held me over a precipice of dread. Even the opening credits are inventive and have the ability to send a cautionary shiver down one’s spine.

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