The Eye 2
Reviewed by 1. Sarhan Rashid 2. Soh Yun-Huei
Chinese Title: Jian gui 2
Directors: Oxide Pang, Danny Pang
Cast: Shu Qi, Eugenia Yuan, Jesdaporn Pholdee
Country: Hong Kong, Thailand
Language: Cantonese, Thai
Year Released: 2004
1. Review by Sarhan Rashid
When a movie unexpectedly hits the big time it's natural for the filmmakers to greenlight a sequel. Very often the sequels fail to hold a candle to the original. Sometimes this is attributed to the principal cast and crew not returning while other times the effort is simply put to milk the potential franchise so a studio, an executive and/or the directors can make off with more loot by suckering their loyal audience into paying for a heap of dung.
The Eye 2 is no exception.
When the original was released, it unexpectedly became a favorite amongst the local audience. Modestly budgeted, it earned a handsome return for its financiers, our very own, MediaCorp Raintree Pictures, Singapore. Even foreign audiences have lapped it up and a Hollywood studio has already purchased the rights to remake it.
Who then wouldn't want to film a sequel and earn some easy cash?
The sequel bears very little in common with the original other then the fact the lead (played excellently by Shu Qi) starts seeing dead people after a near death experience. Of course the more educated members of the audience will realize this is just a ploy by the filmmakers to justify the films title.
Honestly, they could have gone with a different title like "Haunted Mothers" or something and it wouldn't have affected the movie, only the final box-office results would. Hence, the original title was retained with of course a number 2 added at the end of it. How original!?!?
The rest of the movie is just as original (that's sarcasm incase you fail to notice it). I was so bored during the proceedings that I came this close to nodding off if not for my friend keeping me awake with his hilarious description about how utterly lame the movie was.
The movie doesn't seem to make up its mind about whether it wants to be a horror movie or tragic love story. Try bringing an oblivious friend to this movie after the titles have passed and I'm sure they'll think they've walked into a tragic saga about love lost.
A few bumps are thrown in but nothing innovative or even scary appears on screen. It seems Asian horror filmmakers are obsessed with females with long free flowing hair. Well, for all you aspiring Asian horror filmmakers just to let you know, we (the audience) are tired of it. How about a little creativity, eh?
There's only one remotely scary scene and that's about it. Others will either register laughter from the audience or have you wishing you could join the dead.
Skip this at all costs. It's not even worth the price of a DVD rental. All you pregnant women should consider yourself lucky since MediaCorps marketing division did you a favor by warning you before hand.
Sarhan Rashid is a freelance writer. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Review by Soh Yun-Huei
Rating: ** (out of four stars)
An easy way to identify if a horror movie had gone off track is if you hear the audience laughing regularly such is the case for The Eye 2, which looked really promising in the trailer, but the end product is far more disappointing than expected. An almost completely scare-free movie (the only good moment had been revealed in the trailer), The Eye 2 is a bore, featuring such a mediocre story that you can snooze through the entire film without having felt like you missed out on anything.
The Eye 2 is technically not a sequel, although some story elements are similar to The Eye. Its once again about a woman who suddenly receives the "gift" of second sight, but this time its Joey Cheng (Shu Qi), who tries to commit suicide after a failed romance with Sam (Jesdaporn Pholdee) but is rescued from the brink of death, only to find that she is pregnant with Sams child. She gradually discovers that she can see beings that normal humans cannot see, in particular a mysterious long-haired woman (Eugenia Yuan, once again cast in a ghostly role) that seems to have an agenda in following her around. As her baby comes closer to term, Joey feels increasingly insecure, and decides to do some investigation on her own only to find that the truth behind the matter may not be what she expects.
Directed by the Pang brothers, Oxide and Danny, who also helmed the original film, The Eye 2 is several large notches down the horror film ladder when compared to its predecessor. Gone are the genuinely scary moments taking their place are cheap shots and unintentionally funny sequences (in particular the copious number of awkward cameos by MediaCorp artistes a sure mark of the participation of MediaCorp-Raintree Pictures). One of the most memorable scenes in The Eye was that of the protagonist trapped in a lift together with a spirit; amazingly, the Pang Brothers seem to feel that the same trick can work twice, and reprises a similar scenario in The Eye 2 of course, it fails to impress. The ghosts in the film are also more proactive than before, being able to manipulate physical objects and even speak to human beings. This could have been a good angle to explore, but the film never develops the idea at all.
The Eye 2 is not all bad. Shu Qi acquits herself well as the protagonist, and even though a large majority of the film rests on her performance, Shu Qi manages to pull it off with relative ease. The same cannot be said of Jesdaporn Pholdee, who gives a wooden and mediocre performance thankfully hes limited to a few scenes. However, a horror movie that isnt horrifying is like watching a comedy with all the jokes left out it simply isnt worth the time or the money, even if the remaining elements of the film dont disappoint that much.
Final Word: Sleep inducing and nowhere close to being scary. Not for the easily bored.