The Eye is a Taiwanese ghost film that will please the American audiences who flocked to The Sixth Sense, The Others, and The Ring, far superior to recent American trash that has been made to cash in on the fascination with ghost stories.
The Eye focuses on Mun (Angelica Lee), a blind girl as she is about to receive some donated retinas in an operation that will give her vision. The operation is successful, and over time she can see as well as anyone and better communicate with her supportive family, her doctor, and a sickly child she has befriended in the hospital. However, one night, she sees the old lady near her in the hospital being escorted out by a stranger after visiting hours, and the next morning she is dead. When Mun is finally out in the real world, she sees people that others can’t see, all of them very strange and some of them particularly frightening. By the time her doctor recommends her to his nephew psychiatrist Dr. Wah (Lawrence Chou), it is clear that she is seeing ghosts, and while trying to get someone to believe she tries to find out more about the donor.
It’s no surprise that this film has already been optioned for an American remake, especially with the success of the Ringu remake The Ring. The US version may have more expensive special effects and a more upbeat resolution, but this version is a very likeable movie. It is beautifully filmed by the Pang brothers and it has some ambitions to be more than a typical mindless scarefest, taking on important topics like intolerance. It’s very easy to make a bad scary movie and hard to make a good one, especially considering how many have been made recently (I hope you all missed The Mothman Prophecies and Dragonfly), The Eye delivers the goods without insulting anyone’s intelligence.
Lee and Chou both have charm and talent and are great finds for the Pang brothers, who have proven themselves worthy of an American audience. Scenes like Lee’s operation are done with warts and all realism, and Mun and Dr. Wah’s relationship is very believable when it could have easily been contrived. These realistic elements convince the biggest naysayers that even the ghosts could be real, and situations, from the horrific climax to full, intriguing stories that link the ghosts with their past lives will send chills down your spine.
Parents should know that the movie is very scary and has pervasive tension, violence, and some disturbing images.
People who enjoy this movie should try the recent popular (and chilling) ghost stories, particularly the aforementioned The Sixth Sense, The Others, and The Ring and the original Ringu. Families might also enjoy two other movies about blind people who gain their sight, Blink and At First Sight.