My Little Eye (2002)

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Released 19-Jan-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Alternative Version-Interactive Mode
Audio Commentary-Marc Evans (Director) And Jon Finn (Producer)
Deleted Scenes-8, With Optional Commentary
Featurette-Making Of
Gallery-Photo
Teaser Trailer
Theatrical Trailer
TV Spots-4
DVD Credits
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 91:26
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Version Select Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Marc Evans
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Sean Cw Johnson
Jennifer Sky
Kris Lemche
Stephen O'Reilly
Laura Regan
Bradley Cooper
Nick Mennell
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Bias


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes, minor
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    My Little Eye is quite a refreshing horror flick. Whilst not entirely original (so what is?), it manages to combine elements from a number of recent movies into a fairly novel, rather scary little picture. The "unseen horror" element of The Blair Witch Project, the internet broadcast of Halloween: Resurrection and the mysterious bumps in the night from any number of "haunted house" movies could all be cited in comparison, but this film manages to present a reasonably fresh - and blatantly sequel-worthy - take on the horror buff's favourite genre.

    When an internet advertisement seeks five young adventurers to spend six months in an isolated country house, filmed from every conceivable angle and fed live over the net, there are plenty of interested parties - particularly with a $1 million prize at stake. The major condition? If anyone leaves the house before the final whistle...nobody gets the prize. An interesting premise with a cast of relative unknowns bodes well from the get-go, plot-wise.

    The film begins after the famous five has almost reached the end of their stay within the house. They are by now relatively at ease with the omnipresent cameras, and with each other. With only a week to go until they finally get released back into the wild, each of them is looking forward to a return to normality - complete with new-found celebrity and a healthy cheque in their pockets.

    It is difficult to provide too much more detail on the plot without spoiling the film for those who have yet to see it. Suffice it to say that the final week becomes disturbingly turbulent for all concerned. Things start to degenerate when one of the character's grandfathers dies suddenly and the possibility that someone will leave the house starts to become a reality. Increasingly, the reasons for the residents to leave become more pressing. Is this a case of The Company playing mind-games to save their million dollars...or are there more sinister events unfurling?

    My Little Eye comes close to the levels of suspense found in The Ring. For my money, it was every bit as enjoyable with a nice twist to the tale and some credible performances from the small cast. This low-budget flick is highly recommended to thriller/horror - although not necessarily slasher - fans. Basically this is a good story well-realised on camera. I am willing to bet a bottle of (light) beer that there will be at least one sequel to this movie. Let's hope it maintains the inventiveness of the original film.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality of this transfer is generally very good, given that it was a low budget (two million pounds) affair and was shot on digital video.

    There are numerous grainy, mis-focussed and badly framed shots throughout the film - all of these are intentional effects and not a fault of the transfer. The film is presented 16x9 enhanced in a ratio of 1.85:1, which is the original theatrical aspect ratio.

    Black levels are deep and solid, with no low level noise. The shadow detail is generally good although there are some fairly impenetrable scenes present. Given the "reality" angle of the film, I would assume the lighting has been kept to realistic levels rather than providing the blue-light darkness common in more traditional Hollywood releases. Colours are reasonably well saturated, although the palette in outdoor shots can be rather limited due to the wintry setting. There is no hint of colour bleeding. The use of night-vision cameras occurs quite frequently - just like Survivor or Big Brother - and the eerie green glow, with reflections from the cast's retinas add an almost supernatural feel to the already chilling video transfer. The commentary reveals that these shots were taken with the director's home video camera - the professional cameras did not have the infra-red facility that most home models possess!

    There are no noticeable MPEG artefacts to spoil the transfer. There is some edge enhancement present (for example around the coat at 25:46) but I never found it to be particularly distracting. Aliasing was not an issue on my system, although there is a mild shimmer evident on occasion.

    The transfer is pretty well free free from film (video) artefacts and, other than the deliberate scratchiness of some footage, it is a clean transfer.

    The English subtitles for the Hard of Hearing are well timed and legible, sticking close to the dialogue and providing frequent audio cues and dialogue attribution.

    The first disc is single sided and dual layered (DVD9 format), but I did not notice any layer change. The second (extras) disc is in DVD5 format so there is no layer change present.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The overall audio transfer is very good, providing a lively and scary backdrop to the visual action.

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is encoded at 448 kbps. It is free from major defects at all times, with no clicks, pops or dropouts noticed. In the interactive mode there is an element of hiss present. Dialogue was usually clear, although the nature of the film means that it can sometimes be muffled or distant. It is never overpowered by the abundant sound effects. Audio sync was faultless throughout.

    The original music is credited to the mysteriously named Bias. Whilst the music itself doesn't play a memorable role, the overall sound design for the film is very well done indeed. Scary noises of all descriptions - and some which cannot be described - creep up and pounce on you. There are some real audio scares present and I recommend turning the volume up to 11 for maximum impact. Humorously, the commentary track reveals that one of the muffled scary noises is a member of the sound crew reading the TGI Fridays burger menu backwards!

    The soundstage is highly atmospheric throughout. The front speakers provide a decent home to most of the dialogue but there is some really great activity from the surrounds. The surround speakers are used frequently, and to great dramatic effect, to deliver a genuinely spooky ambience. There are numerous examples of localised sound effects, front to rear panning and cross soundstage panning. To paraphrase from another film's tagline - if this soundtrack doesn't scare you, then you are already dead.

    The subwoofer is well used (although intermittently) to provide a low end to the effects, although there isn't a huge amount of true LFE present.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are quite a few worthwhile extras present given that this is a low budget feature.

Menu

    The main menu is a silent, text-based screen allowing the options of activating subtitles, activating the commentary track or playing the film. Chapter stops are not selectable from the menu.

Disc 1

Interactive Mode

    This is a fun and well thought-out addition. You have the opportunity to watch the entire movie as though you were logged on to the website. In addition to the main film (which is presented in a rather too small window), there are other selectable features presented. You can click on the participants and witness their audition tapes, where they are interviewed by an unseen cameraman as they explain why they want to take part in the experiment. You can also see their odds of success and the day on which the action is taking place. One of the spookier elements is the ability to listen to the Company discussing the on-screen events, unbeknownst to the poor saps trapped in the house. This is very immersive if a little confusing at times. Clicking on the Archive menu option plays the deleted scenes which can be found on the second disc, presented not as outtakes, but as previously broadcast material. You must watch the film in normal mode first to get the most from the film and from this excellent feature.

Audio Commentary

    The director Marc Evans and producer Jon Finn provide a jocular commentary track which commences from the opening studio logos. It is both funny and informative - well worth a listen. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 192 kbps.

Disc 2

Deleted Scenes

    These scenes can be watched in isolation or sequentially. If watched in one sitting they run for 30:28. Each is available with or without an informative commentary track. They are presented non 16x9 enhanced The individual scenes are as follows:

Making Of My Little Eye

    Running for a healthy 29:47, this is better than your average EPK fluff and is more of a genuine documentary piece - certainly worth a viewing. Presented 16x9 enhanced at 1.75:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 256 kbps.

Gallery

    Running as a slideshow for 7:34 with a great musical backing track, this is a series of behind the scenes photographs presented at 1.78:1 and 16x9 enhanced (in a window box matte). Audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 256 kbps.

Teaser Trailer

    Running for 0:40 at 1.78:1 and 16x9 enhanced with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio encoded at 256 kbps.

Full Length Trailer

    Running for 1:45 and presented non 16x9 enhanced in a letterboxed 1.85:1 ratio with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio encoded at 256 kbps.

TV Spots

    Four consecutive spots running for 1:00 in total and presented 16x9 enhanced at 1.78:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio encoded at 256 kbps.

DVD Credits

    A silent and static text-based credits page.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This film does not appear to be available in Region 1 yet. The Region 2 version appears to be identical to our own. Buy whichever can be found cheaper.

Summary

    My Little Eye is a little reminiscent of a number of other recent horror films and numerous television reality shows. It manages to weave the camera shots and sound bites together well, generating a high degree of credibility and tension. Whilst not perfect, it is certainly one of the scarier films I have watched in recent years. Highly recommended for thriller/horror fans. Watch it in the dark with the sound turned up and be prepared to be scared!

    The video quality is very good, albeit with designer flaws.

    The audio transfer is very atmospheric and adds immensely to the fear factor of the movie.

    The extras are worthwhile and add value to the package.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel O'Donoghue (You think my bio is funny? Funny how?)
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDHarmony DVD Video/Audio PAL Progressive, using Component output
DisplaySanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR600 with DD-EX and DTS-ES
SpeakersJensenSPX-9 fronts, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 surrounds, Jensen SPX-17 subwoofer

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Comments (Add)
What utter crap! - Greg
It is available in R1 - Anonymous
quite good actually - Johnny Wadd (i am bionic)
Exactly my point - Greg
well won me over! - Ryan REPLY POSTED