EYE 10 (2005-HK)
review by Neo
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The Eye did a hell lot to HK cinema, it not only proved HK can still make good horror movies, but launched the career of The Pang brothers and paved way for one of the most promising actress in recent years - Angelica Lee. A sequel was inevitable with the first one being such a critical and box office hit, and last year they came up with The Eye 2, starring Shu Qi instead, it was nothing special about, except for being very competent with excellent visuals. The same time last year, each Pang brother another movie each, one was a big disappointment and the other one was slightly better. So have the Pang brothers lost their form? Or The Eye was a one off fluke. Personally, despite me criticising them last year, I still gave their films pretty good rating as anything from the Pang brothers are still a par above the usual crap from HK. As for The Eye 10, despite not being on par with Eye 10, there is enough tension and good camera angles of suspense shots to make a par above most HK movies released this year.
The movie goes like this: Led by a Thai friend, four young people start to play the tricks to see ghosts. They start with the most ordinary way to explore the creepy world... Most people are afraid of seeing ghosts. But there are always people who, in proving their exceptional courage or in search of new excitements, attempt to communicate with all sorts of spirits. A comic teaches a game derived from 10 ways to meet the supernatural beings according to Thai legends. Ignoring the warnings on the first page, a group of youngsters decides to play this fatal game, without knowing that they may never be able to end it...
The major differences and also the major problem of this movie comparing to the other in the series, is its utilization of a group of characters rather than focus on one particular one. This instantly causes an effect of non-developed characters and as a result the audience will find it hard to care about any of them. Fortunately, the Pang brothers know how to adequate create suspense through good use of camera angles and the mystery location of the land of Thailand. The Thailand backdrop and the night eerie forest, creates an outstanding nightmare for young teens and reminds young adults about their fears of the past. Being lost alone in the dark in the middle of the forest is not a very happy experience to have, and add ghost and cats in the matter, it is an instant nightmare.
The casting of young actors creates a mixed result, with some surprisingly good performance from Wilson Chen and Kate Yeung, but a rather forced and unnatural performance from EEG's most supported 2005's person - Isabella Leong. While some predict that she has the looks to become the next Cecilia Cheung, her acting is a league behind, but still a relatively okay performance for a first timer. As for Kate Yeung, after a good turn in 20:30:40, the way she played the character shows some depth, but unfortunately due to the number of characters, her character was never developed beyond the frightened of ghost person. As for Wilson Chen, his performance is natural enough, but once again, it is not his fault that his character was not developed either.
As for as horror or supernatural thrillers are concern, the Pang Brothers are probably the only one is HK that can really make it work. In recent years, there have been too much of these movies that just ended up being b-movies with zero production values and shit. While, The Eye 10 is by no means great, it is almost good enough to say that it is a pretty tense and worthwhile ride. However, I must comment on the first half of the movie which seemed dragging and going no where, but then lucky it did go and pick up pace and tension along the way. Another compliment is the message that Pang is trying to say - it is best to not cross the boundaries of your world to the other world. Sure the movie is full of holes, but it doesn't really matter as this is about ghost. Since when was ghost ever proven to be truism than mystery anyway. As far as in the Eye series, this is probably the weakest entry, but that's not to say this is a bad movie, as it really isn't. Perhaps, this is what we call a pretty good suspenseful movie despite being so simple. As for another sequel, I just hope they focus on one particular character than a whole group. Then again, the movie does leave the audience with a good moral message and prove that the cliché - "curiosity kills the cat" and in this case, it is so true... and yeah this is also the weakest entry in a complimentary way.
I rate it 7.75/10
on this movie on HK Neo Reviews Forum
Director: The Pang Brothers (Oxide Pang Shun, Danny Pang Fat)
Cast: Isabella Leong Lok-Si, Kate Yeung Kei, Berlin Chen Pak-Lin
Reviewed by Andrew (Neo), June 2005