The Eye 3
Directed by Oxide and Danny Pang
Written by Oxide Pang, Danny Pang, Mark Wu
Produced by Peter Chan and Eric Tsang
Starring Chen Bo-Lin, Isabella Leong, Ray MacDonald, Kate Yeung, Gu Yu
Lionsgate Home Video
Release Date: June 24, 2008
When a group of friends from Hong Kong visit another friend, Chongkwai, in Thailand they are taken on a fun tour of Bangkok’s sights and sounds, but on their way back to Chongkwai’s house they see a person who had been killed by the side of the road. Morbidly fascinated by the death, the five friends begin to tell ghost stories, and that is when Chongkwai pulls out a book her purchased that goes through ten steps to actually see ghosts! The friends decide to try a few of the tricks out, and lo and behold, they are visited by ghosts from the Spirit World! Things take a turn for the worse, though, when one of their friends seemingly disappears during one of the ghost “games.”
Devastated by Gofei’s disappearance, the others return to Hong Kong, but the ghost games keep on going, and the horrified teens keep seeing spirits at every corner. Reluctantly, they return to Thailand where Chongkwai believes that they will have to go through all ten ghost games in order to make them stop. To the teens’ horror, the final game involves pretending to be dead in order to cross over to the Spirit World. Donned in funeral dressings, May and Tak boldly cross over to the other side, but what they discover will stay with them for the rest of their lives!
Equally known as The Eye 10 and The Eye: Infinity in the international market, the writing/directing duo of the Pang Brothers take their in-name-only sequel in a new direction to pump some fresh blood into the series for what is mostly its final outing. Unlike the first two films, in which the protagonists unwillingly come into contact with the spirits that freely roam the human dimension, this time around a group of naive friends willingly seek to connect with the spiritual plane. Like playing the classic children’s game “Bloody Mary” but with the additional help of black magic, these friends quickly find themselves in over their head.
Oxide and Danny Pang stay true, for the most part, to the mix of emotional drama and spiritual horror that they instilled in their previous outings, while allowing for a little bit of extra fun this time around. The Pang Brothers once again build up some quality suspense and atmosphere during the teens’ interaction with the spirits, and even get to the chance to introduce viewers who may not be too familiar with how ghosts in the Far East are properly dealt with. But they are not without a sense of humor for this entry as they give a nod to the original The Eye when a kid looking for his report card gets a rude awakening, and Tak unknowingly “serves” a would-be break dancer when he becomes possessed.
Sadly, the Pang Brothers do not push the envelope for some of the sequences that could have been much more terrifying. They may have been playing safe to pander to a younger audience that has been targeted with the youthful main characters, at the expense of more seasoned thrill seekers. Speaking of which, while switching gears to a younger set of inexperienced characters who do not understand the dangers of meddling with ghosts continues the rejuvenating motif of the their film, the cost comes at the actors’ hokey screen presence. For several of the main actors this marks their first film, the rest have but two or three small acting roles under their belt. But they all seem to be having a ball running around scared and that certainly counts for something.
The coup-de-grace for the film takes place when Tak and May cross over to the Spirit World. Looking like a cross between Lucio Fulci’s Hell in The Beyond and the land of the dead in the classic A Chinese Ghost Story, the Spirit Realm is an infinite black forest drenched in fog with the ground covered in rocky dirt and inhabited by hundreds of green-tinted apparitions. The overall sense of despair the scenery elicits is made even more so when Tak and May finally come to the despairing realization that they are completely out numbered and have no way of containing what they have started. It is a fitting role reversing end to a series that has taken its time in bringing spirits into the world of the living.
Dubbed The Eye 3 for its American DVD release by Lionsgate, the film is presented in anamorphic widescreen and appears to be transferred from the original release in Hong Kong. The original soundtrack is presented in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Stereo, and includes easy-to-read grammatically correct English and Spanish subtitles.
The DVD also includes featurettes that were produced during the film’s original 2005 release by Applause Pictures. In “Ten Ways To See Ghost” the Pang Brothers as well as the cast go through the ten ceremonies to perform in order to witness spiritual activity. A Making Of includes interviews with most of the cast and crew and a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the special effects. Both include burned-in English subtitles. A series of preview trailers for other Lionsgate films rounds out the extras.