31 Days of Horror – Day 25 – The Eye was inspired by real life events
I love the original version of The Eye (2002) because is it moody and scary. The script was written by the Pang brothers, Oxide and Danny. They were inspired by a real life story in the newspaper, about a girl who received a corneal transplant and committed suicide soon after. They wondered what she saw to make her take her own life. So do I. It’s not that far a leap to believe she saw something that scared her. The Eye has plenty of that.
Mun is played by Lee Sin-je, and she does a great job. The script excels at showcasing her reactions and the emotion of her post-surgery recovery, but it sorta stumbles towards the end. Roger Ebert said Lee has an expressive face and I agree. She carries the movie. Mun plays the part quietly, which is a surprise, because she’s playing a really strong character. It’s kinda the opposite of most strong female leads, especially the American ones. None of them are as quiet and introspective as Lee plays her part, which isn’t a bad thing to be honest, but it’s just a contrast to the usual stereotype.
Despite this, Roger Ebert gave The Eye only two and a half stars, which isn’t much considering his complement. Along with his complements, Ebert said that this whole movie is a cliche. I agree that bodily organs retaining memories of previous hosts is a cliche, but I can’t think of any organ transplant horror movies right off the top of my head. There are plenty of body horror movies though, like a David Cronenberg movie or something.
I like the climax to this movie a lot, as Mun tries desperately to warn everybody about an explosion that’s going to happen. It’s sorta like Final Destination, but just a little different. Unfortunately, the ending leaves Mun blind again, which is probably what you might expect from a stereotypical movie, not something unique like The Eye. Oh well, can’t have everything I guess.
A friend of mine told me about The Hand (1981), which does organ horror differently. It was directed by Oliver Stone, and has the opposite ending, which fits the bleak and depressing movie. I think both The Eye and The Hand both do a lot of things well, but they feature some of the same cliches, like seeing things that aren’t there and themes of doubting yourself. In the case of The Hand, the main character gets angry, but Mun doesn’t. She copes with her scary visions and the problems in her life.
There is an American remake of The Eye starring Jessica Alba, but it’s crap. There’s something about Alba that annoys the hell out of me, though it has pretty much the same plot. I think the supporting characters can’t act and the script has been altered from the original to telegraph the main character’s motivation to help others. I like how the original is more subtle.
In all, the original version of The Eye is a good movie. It has a lot of critics, but I think it does well with the subject matter. It’s moody and has good performances. You can’t ask for much more than that, but people nitpick and complain about it being cliche and wordy. I don’t get that. It’s fine as is. It’s not a David Cronenberg body horror gross-out movie, but it doesn’t want to be. I’m glad.
31. Poltergeist (1982) vs Poltergeist (2015)
30. Blair Witch Project (1999)
29. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
28. The Wicker Man (1973) and The Wicker Man Remake
27. Tales from the Darkside, the Movie (1990)
26. Saw (2004)
25. The Prophecy (1995)
24. The Hills have Eyes (1977)
23. House of the Long Shadows (1983)
22. Creepshow (1982)
21. Phantasm (1979)
20. The Omen (1976) vs Damien: The Omen II
19. We Are Still Here (2015)
18. The Guest
17. Return of the Living Dead (1985)
15. The House that Dripped Blood (1971)
14. Army of Darkness (1992)
13. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
12. Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
11. Theater of Blood (1973)
10. House of Wax (1953) vs House of Wax (2005)
9. Hellraiser Inferno (2000)
8. Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
7. The Changeling (1980)
6. The Eye (2002)
5. The Hitcher (1986)
4. Paranormal Activity (2007)
3. 28 Days Later (2003)
2. Suspiria (1977)
1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – This review will be published October 31st!