With a disjointed story and absolutely nothing frightening within, The Eye Trilogy ends. Just ends. Nothing else
Back in 2002, brothers Danny and Oxide Pang released The Eye, a fairly run-of-the-mill horror that understood enough of the genre to present with us some fresh and fairly genuine scares. It wasn’t groundbreaking, but it offered some new ideas while keeping things fairly straightforward. Two years later, they released a sequel – aptly titled The Eye 2 – which was void of anything frightening, but kept us more or less interested with a half-decent story and a sympathetic character. And then the following year, they skipped ahead and released The Eye 10 because numbers mean nothing.
This strangely-named Frankensteinian mess of a film actually refers to the 10 Ways to See a Ghost, a self-help book that also doubles as the film’s antagonist. Chong-kwai is a young Thai man who has invited some of his Hong Kong friends over. He shows them the book he picked up from a freaky man in a warehouse, which he claims can show them how to see ghosts. With everyone immediately on board, they begin.
When one of them, Kofei, vanishes into the spirit world, May and Teddy decide to just leave and return to Hong Kong, while Kofei’s girlfriend April stays behind to help Chong-kwai find Kofei. May and Teddy start seeing ghosts everywhere and then they try to get Teddy back and the film just kind of ends after a set time predetermined by the movie’s editor.
Because this review is going to be short, let me list out all of the ways to see ghosts (this is also the Pang’s method of padding out an otherwise spectacularly short 86-minute film):
- Oujia board
- Clanging chopsticks in rice bowls in the middle of the street
- Rubbing corpse-mud in your eyes
- Sticking your head between your legs
- Playing hide and seek with a black cat
- Combing your hair in a mirror at midnight
- Opening an umbrella indoors
- Pretending to die in a used funeral suit
- Presumably the events from the first Eye film
- Presumably the events from the seconds Eye film
Yeah. Two of the steps involve (possibly, it’s never really made clear) recreating the events from the first two Eye films, which might be difficult. The second Eye film involved giving birth or almost dying and the first one required getting a cornea transplant from a murdered witch. You know, just your everyday stuff. Frankly, it’s so lazily written that it’s kind of hard to tell if those are part of the ten official ways, or just weird freak accidents. It doesn’t matter. Nothing matters in this film. You don’t care who dies, or who stays in what spirit world.
The Eye 10 is bad, but I guess it’s not the worst. It’s at the very least easy to make fun of: the acting, story, camerawork. All of it comes together to make a somewhat entertaining, if absolutely crappy movie. It tries to hide this by having, like, two intentionally funny moments including an extended ghost breakdance scene (there is one good joke which involves Chong being told never to look at the final page of the book, only to learn it only only contained the real, much lower, price of the book), but the rest of it is taken seriously. Good try, Pangs, this could have been a decent idea.
Verdict: The Eye 10 fails at just about everything it tries to do, and it’s not even that fun to sit through in the first place.
The Asian Cinema Critic’s Patented Ratings System
Overall entertainment: 3/10
Number of ways to see ghosts actually shown in the film: 8/10
The Eye 10 (2005)
Also known as: The Eye Infinity, The Eye 3
Directors: Danny Pang, Oxide Pang
Writers: Danny Pang, Oxide Pang, Mark Wu
Bolin Chen – Teddy
Kate Yeung – May
Ray MacDonald – Chong-kwai
Isabella Leong – April
Kris Gu – Kofei
Bongkoj Khongmalai – Accident victim