Directed By: Oxide Pang, Danny Pang
Starring: Angelica Lee, Chutcha Rujinanon, Lawrence Chou
Tag line: "Some things are better left unseen"
Trivia: When Dr Wah and Mun are on the train together, a ghostly woman's face appears in the window behind them as they travel through a tunnel
When it comes to Asian horror, my favorite movie will always be Ju-On, which scares the hell out of me every time I see it. But I gotta tell you, The Pang Brothers 2002 film, The Eye, is a very close second.
Mun (Angelica Lee), who’s been blind since the age of two, has just undergone a corneal transplant operation to try and restore her eyesight. The procedure is a success, but Mun soon realizes she’s seeing things, and people, that nobody else can. As it turns out, Mun is now able to see the dead, whose spirits have either just departed their bodies (led to the afterlife by a mysterious shadow) or are trapped in this realm, looking to break free. Terrified, she turns to her therapist, Dr. Wah (Lawrence Chow) for help, and together they attempt to track down information on the donor of the corneas, hoping it will solve a mystery that is driving Mun insane.
The Eye has many terrific scenes, ranging from the fantastic (like when the spirit of a young boy passes through Mun as she’s crossing the street) to the suspenseful (a sequence set in an elevator will drag you to the edge of your seat) to the downright terrifying. Whenever Mun opens her eyes, there’s a chance she’ll see something extraordinary, and more often than not, she does. The Eye also contains an excellent twist that took me completely by surprise, and a climactic scene as surprising as it is brilliantly staged.
For a time there, Hollywood was churning out remakes of recent Asian horror films, some of which are quite entertaining; The Ring is one great example of a remake done right, as is 2009’s The Uninvited. In 2008, The Eye joined the ranks as well, with a movie that featured Jessica Alba in the lead role. As to how good (or bad) this particular version of the story is, I can’t say. That’s because I haven’t seen it, and more than likely never will. For me, The Eye was done to perfection by writers/directors Danny and Oxide Pang back in 2002. There’s simply no way anyone could have improved on their movie.
Not for me, anyway.