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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
The Eye (Jian Gui) (2002)

The Eye (Jian Gui) (2002)

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Released 21-Jul-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Fantasy Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Making Of
Featurette-Pang Brothers Documentary
Teaser Trailer-2
Theatrical Trailer-2
TV Spots
Trailer-Eastern Eye Promo Reel, The Grudge, Dark Water, Ong Bak
Trailer-Paranoia Agent, Parasite Dolls, Texhnolyze
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 94:01 (Case: 100)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (54:54) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Oxide Pang Chun
Danny Pang
Applause Pictures
Madman Entertainment
Starring Angelica Lee
Lawrence Chou
Chutcha Rujinanon
Yut Lai So
Candy Lo
Yin Ping Ko
Pierre Png
Edmund Chen
Wai-Ho Yung
Wilson Yip
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI ? Music Orange Music

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Cantonese dts 5.1 (768Kb/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 Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    The Eye is an interesting and genuinely scary supernatural tale that could be described as a cross between The Sixth Sense and The Ring. The 'blind girl in distress' plot has been used before, but the Pang Brothers manage to pack enough thrills and frights into the story to make it entertaining viewing.

    Mun (Sin-Je Lee) has been blind since the age of two, and after nineteen years is undergoing an operation to have her sight restored. As her bandages are removed the world is nothing but a bright blur at first, but in time she begins to see strange shadows and moving objects in the dark corridors of the hospital. Circumstances force her to be discharged from hospital early, so she begins sessions with psychotherapist Dr Lo Wah (Lawrence Chow), a professional who intends to help her understand and interpret her new found eyesight. Her disturbing visions continue and her family starts to think she is flipping out, but her therapist has doubts about the presence of ghosts. Eventually she becomes so consumed by fear that she regresses back into darkness and ultimately finds herself back in the hospital where she originally recovered from her operation. A chance vision convinces the doctors of her plight and the race is on to locate the family of her donor organs in the hope that it may reveal the cause of her apparitions.

    I was genuinely freaked out during my first viewing of this film. The effects, atmosphere and tension are amazing and the performances by this cast are great all round. However, I found the appearance of the psychotherapist played by Lawrence Chow way too young to be believable in his role. A therapist of his experience shouldn't have the physique of a high school kid. In addition to this, the film seems to lose pace in the second half. When we should be moving forward with some kind of resolution, we are given insight into our lead character's violin skills - which is interesting, but not the direction I think an audience on the edge of their seat would want to go.

    According to the featurettes on this DVD, directors and twin brothers Oxide and Danny Pang drew their inspiration for this tale from a real-life event in which a woman with newly restored vision went mad and committed suicide. For me, the film is oddly reminiscent of the Madeleine Stowe film Blink (1994), which also deals with strange visions experienced by a violin-playing woman after receiving a corneal transplant. Questionable similarities aside, this film was massively successful in Asia and around the world, prompting the Pang Bros. to spawn a disappointing and vaguely related sequel that didn't nearly live up to the original. The Eye is far from a perfect horror/ thriller, but if you enjoy being frightened out of your wits then you might find a few worthwhile moments.

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Transfer Quality


    The video transfer is presented in the film's original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1, with 16x9 enhancement.

    The quality of the transfer is generally good, with a fair degree of sharpness and clarity. Finer detail is evident in images that show hair or other fine textures, however a small number of scenes appear a little softer than others. Shadow detail in the transfer is not the best I have seen, but is sufficient enough to reveal intended details and maintain tension in the right scenes. There was no low level noise evident in the transfer.

    The colouring in this film isn't particularly bold and even borders on drab on some occasions. The almost monochromatic appearance is a common theme in horror films and it isn't particularly surprising to see the effect applied here. The cast still manage to have a natural look, so skin tones don't appear to be affected in any way.

    The level of film artefacting present is above average for a film of this age. Positive and negative artefacts are visible, mostly due to dust, dirt and hairs. The source print is otherwise in good condition and doesn't suffer from any ugly scratches, excessive grain or damaged frames. Aliasing is absent and I didn't note any MPEG compression issues. The feature is encoded at a healthy MPEG bitrate of 7.3Mb/s.

    An English subtitle stream is activated by default, and is easy to follow. The font is yellow with a black outline and the text appears to be free of any grammatical errors. The subtitles translate the Cantonese and Thai dialogue in the film and skip several lines of English.

    This disc is dual layered, with the layer transition placed in a silent fade to black between scenes at 54:54. This position is completely unobtrusive and doesn't interrupt the flow of the film at all.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are two Cantonese language soundtracks accompanying this film on DVD. The default soundtrack is Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s). A dts alternative is also included, encoded at 768Kb/s. On the disc these soundtracks are labelled vaguely as Chinese, and on the setup menu they are listed as Cantonese. Although it makes little difference to my western ear, I was a little confused when a line in the script cites the characters as communicating in Mandarin. There are also several lines of Thai and English dialogue in the film. I was interested to discover that this film was screened theatrically with a Dolby Digital EX soundtrack, and this mix appears to have surfaced in Region 2.

    The dialogue is prominent in the mix and rarely becomes dominated by loud effects and the like. The ADR appeared to be relatively solid, however this was understandably difficult for me to gauge. The few lines of English in the film seem to be well synced to the actor's lip movements. Audio sync is fine throughout.

    Surround channel usage is constant and enveloping. Dialogue and other effects are generally confined to the front soundstage, while the rears are used for elements of the score, dedicated effects and atmospherics. At 14:08 a door can be heard distinctly opening behind the viewer in the rear left channel, and a disorienting swirling effect is used at 15:30 and 54:20, attacking the audience from all angles. The surround experience is very effective and succeeds in making the film believable and terrifying.

    In comparing the Dolby Digital and dts soundtracks I found a number of differences. The Dolby Digital option is mastered at a slightly higher volume and is noticeably brighter. The extra brightness makes it a little harsh on some occasions, particularly when presenting higher register elements such as string orchestrations and screams. I found the dts track contains some nice depth, but seems to lack the surround impact I felt in the Dolby Digital equivalent. If I were to watch the disc again, I doubt I would bother manually switching to the dts soundtrack.

    I found the film's score disappointing. It is overly electronic and sounds cheap, like someone pieced the MIDI files together on their PC at home. It manages to raise tension in the right moments, but certainly isn't a score I would add to my CD collection.

    The subwoofer does a great job of lifting the bottom end of these soundtracks. At 73:50 the sub picks up the rhythm in the score, but the true workout comes in the film's finale, an enormous explosion that will really rattle your windows if you have the volume at a decent level.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    This is a very well presented DVD. Even the Madman logo screen is animated and themed around the film.


    The main menu page is preceded by a short intro and features some spooky clips from the film, with audio. All of the pages are nicely animated and 16x9 enhanced.

Featurette-Making Of The Eye (8:08)

    This brief Making Of includes some footage taken on the set and contributions from Actors Sin-Je Lee and Lawrence Chow discussing the challenges inherent in their roles. Producers Lawrence Cheng and Peter ho-sun Chan recite the real event that inspired this story, which is interesting. This short featurette is presented in 1.33:1, with Cantonese audio and burned-in English subtitles.

Pang Brothers Documentary (7:01)

    We are introduced to twin brothers Oxide and Danny Pang via the praise of Producers and Actors who appeared in the previous Making-Of. The Brothers themselves then give us an in-depth look at the tanker scene, including footage taken on the set during the film's production. This short featurette is essentially an extension of the above Making-Of; presented in 1.33:1, with Cantonese audio and burned-in English subtitles.

Trailers (5)

    There are two teaser trailers, two theatrical trailers and a TV spot. None are 16x9 enhanced.

Eastern Eye Trailers (7)

    Trailers are included for The Grudge, Dark Water, Ong Bak, Paranoia Agent, Parasite Dolls and Texhnolyze. The obligatory Eastern Eye promo reel is also included.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 disc by Lion's Gate includes trailers and a longer Making-Of (15:04) but no dts audio. The featurette may simply be a combination of our two smaller featurettes, judging by the runtime.

    Tartan in the UK have released this film twice on DVD. The first was a disc with extras similar to ours, but only with stereo audio. A Collector's Edition was released in August of 2004, adding Dolby Digital EX and dts-es audio tracks, but omitting many of the extras.

    The Hong Kong Region 3 NTSC disc includes trailers and dts audio.

    While we don't have any 6.1 channel audio tracks, the Region 4 does seem to be a good package in comparison to other regions.


    The Eye is a genuinely scary thriller that will make you seriously reconsider that corneal transplant you were planning.

    The video transfer is good.

    The audio transfer is great.

    The extras are brief, but worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TX76PW10A 76cm Widescreen 100Hz. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

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