The Eye (18)

Review by Simon Bell

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Star and director filmographies; Original theatrical trailer; Justin Bowyer film notes; Making of documentary; Pang Brothers documentary; Promotional art gallery; Asia Extreme trailer reel; Region 0.

THE Pang Brothers, Hong Kong Chinese twins Danny and Oxide, follow up their significant achievement Bangkok: Dangerous (1999) - a tale of a deaf hitman - with the story of a blind girl who begins to see above and beyond your regular 20:20.

Mun lost her eyesight at the age of two, but 18 years later undergoes a corneal transplant operation and inherits the gift of clairvoyancy from the transparent membrane's previous owner, Ling.

Strange and dark figures start popping up in half-focus or just out of shot (it's all about seeing, you see?) precipitating grisly deaths. Mun, indeed, sees dead people. Before they're dead.

As she starts to lose her marbles, Mun tracks down the Northern Thai village inhabited by Ling before she failed to save the community from perishing in a fire and committed suicide to escape the despair. Here, Mun reasons, lie the answers to the perplexing and ghoulish visitations… Though little does she know, tragedy on a vast scale awaits.

Oxide completed this one before moving on to The Tesseract. Let's hope he infuses it with as much invention and originality as he does The Eye. After all, Alex Garland novels haven't provided the cinema with its greatest feats. (If you thought The Beach was painful, wait 'til you get a load of 28 Days Later!).

The Eye is full of tricks and surprises, not to mention a sackful of scares to shock your popcorn into your lap.

Danny's sheer expertise with the edit and some cracking camerawork, backed by seriously creepy sound fx, will ensure you leave the theatre with your nerves in tatters and a sleepless night to look forward to IF you make it home.

RELATED STORIES: Like Japanese extreme cinema? Then click here for DVD reviews of Battle Royale, or click here for Audition...