Saturday, September 6, 2014

Film Review: The Eye 2 (2004)

The Eye 2 (Review)
China/2004
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: Yes

"...like 'going into a haunted house and having things jump out at you' fun."

After a failed suicide attempt, Joey Cheng (Shu Qi) finds out she is pregnant and begins to see spirits...

The Eye 2 is not a direct sequel to the first film, and only shares the protagonist's ability to see spirits. In this story, Joey begins to see spirits after a failed suicide attempt. She feels rejected by her boyfriend and contemplates another abortion, but decides to keep the baby. As she continues to be haunted by these ghostly images, Joey eventually finds out that these ghosts are in the process of reincarnation. But, Joey fears the ghost who is awaiting her labor. And so, Joey attempts to find the woman haunting her and stop the process. I liked the ending -- in a sense, it was surprisingly bittersweet and even reassuring.

The Eye 2 is a traditional Asian horror film. I suppose this is part of The Eye series because she can see spirits -- like a figurative eye into the spirit realm or something? Joey doesn't get any eye surgery, in fact, this film has nothing to do with literal eyes. Anyway, the horror mostly consist of jump-scares and ghostly visuals. Some of the jump-scares were jolting and surprising, some were duds. The ghosts are mostly spooky, despite some being the generic "long black hair" ghosts. It's far from the most terrifying horror film, but it's very fun -- like "going into a haunted house and having things jump out at you" fun. The story was interesting, too. I like the concept, but hoped it would've delved deeper into it.

The acting was great. Shu Qi is great -- she has a lot of emotional depth in her performance, which is impressive for a horror film. She dominates most of the screen time, so it's difficult to judge the rest of the cast -- there aren't any complaints, though. As far as the technicalities, the film is up to standard. It's shot very well, the music is well-fitted, and so on. It doesn't do much to standout, but it's far from poorly made. The Pang Brothers deliver a consistent horror film, but also very familiar; it's concept doesn't shine enough to differentiate the film from the hundreds of Asian horror films out there.

Overall, I liked The Eye 2. The first film is more original and more frightening. But, this film introduces an interesting concept and offers plenty of jump-scares. I won't lose any sleep at night, but I had a very fun time.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Violence and blood.

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