In 1973 we watched a movie that frightened us like no other, The Exorcist. On the night when the exorcism of Reagon MacNiel took place a murderer was executed. Yet after he was executed some similar murders are happening again. Is there a copycat or is he still alive possessing the priest who fell down the flight of stairs at the end of the first film?
After hearing so many good reviews about this movie I decided to check it out. People were saying that this was the true sequel to the original “Exorcist.” Well I rented it and what did I find? I found a movie that was often quite boring and wasn’t anything like the orignal. I can see how people would like this film, and I thought that the ending was very nicely done. But I just didn’t find the movie as good as everyone else was saying. Everytime it would start to get good, something would set it off to where I was thinking what is going on this with film? And I’d find a scene stupid. The acting is pretty good and the story is pretty good, it just was a disappointment. It had nothing that the original had. None of the scares or anything. The original Exorcist is a film that should be left alone because there was no more room for a sequel, yet they made two sequels after it. If you want to see this film go right ahead, infact a lot of people like it. But it’s not as good as the original Exorcist. I give this movie a 4 out of 10.
Ghost stories are becoming more and more common these days in film. Most likely this is in thanks to the smash success of The Sixth Sense. Now filmgoers are being bombarded with knock offs and clones much like the slashers of the 80s after Halloween and Friday the 13th. Plus you have Hollywood raiding Asia for original film ideas and remaking everything they can get their hands on. So what happens when you combine these two aspects? One possible result is the Hong Kong thriller The Eye by the Pang Brothers. Is it worth the trouble to find or should we just wait until the U.S. remake comes?
Mun has been blind since she was two years old and is very secure in her life. She is a talented violinist and has a family that loves her. However through medical advances, Mun has the opportunity to participate in a new form of surgery that will give her new corneas and the ability to see once again. Once Mun has adjusted to her new corneas and able to see figures and shapes, she starts to see strange images that she really can’t explain such as awakening at night to see her room change shape before her eyes. She seeks the help of Dr. Lo who tries to help her with the psychological side of regaining sight but he too soon learns that Mun may be seeing things not quite of this world. After several bizarre and horrifying run-ins with these images (most notably a neighbor boy who is looking for his report card), Mun realizes that not only can she see our world, but she also sees ghosts. Convinced it has something to do with the operation, Mun persuades Dr. Lo to help her find out just where her new corneas came from. Will Mun find out the truth or will her visions drive her to the edge of sanity?
Rip offs are so common in movies, especially horror. Is this movie a rip off of The Sixth Sense? No doubt about it. Does it really matter? Not really. There are enough original ideas and visuals here that you could care less. The story is interesting although a little more back story would have been nice on how Mun lost her site or just what happened to her parents, but I have a feeling a lot was lost in the translation of the film. There is one scene where the characters are actually speaking English and the English subtitles are not even the same words. Doesn’t make much sense, but this film isn’t about dialogue. It is about setting up quality scares that catch you off guard. And there are quite a few. My biggest complaint is the movie does start quite slowly. It is a good thirty minutes into the film before anything starts to happen and that could have easily been trimmed to ten or fifteen minutes. But once things get going they really don’t let up much. I was very reminded of The Ring while watching the second half of the film. The two main characters set off to uncover the mystery and end up finding more than they bargained for. But the ending will really get you thinking of The Sixth Sense again. The scene seems to be directly lifted from that film but it is very effective nonetheless.
The Pang Brothers directed this film and I have heard many good and bad things about them but this is my first experience with any of their films. And for a first impression I was impressed. They really know what it takes to scare an audience. Their blocking of scenes is excellent. Framing plays a major part in a lot of the scares and they show expertise here. The production values are high and they use CGI effectively. Obviously they were influenced by many films when they decided to make this film. Aspects of The Sixth Sense, The Ring, Ghost, and a little Jacob’s Ladder are seen throughout. However they seem to be more an homage to those films instead of stealing ideas. They change the aspects enough and make them their own. Hopefully we will see more films from these two and that they will be available in the U.S.
So all in all this is a quality film that is already on the list of upcoming Hollywood remakes. The scares are quite effective and not overdone. And there is even some gore to satisfy the gore hounds. It isn’t a blood and guts fest but the ending delivers. It is yet another story driven film with enough visual panache to balance it out. Solid acting and direction make this an easy recommendation. If you can find it definitely check it out. You won’t be sorry, but you might get a little scared. 8/10.