Four teenagers from Hong Kong visit a friend in Thailand and
spend a night frightening each other with ghost stories and
attempting to contact spirits. When one of them later discovers
an ancient book in a dusty little shop, purporting to explain
the ten ways to see a ghost, they decide to try them out.
After a few sessions things begin to go seriously wrong. One
of their number simply vanishes from the woods and fails to
be found by a police search party, and another of them becomes
a terrified and isolated recluse. Two of them flee back to
Hong Kong, but the ghosts follow, appearing with increasing
regularity. It seems that they won't be allowed to forget,
and only journeying to Thailand once more to face the dead
can reveal what has happened to their friends...
is the third film in The Eye series to come from the
Pang Brothers, each being stand-alone but attempting to go
in a slightly different direction. The original
stands as one of my all-time favourite movies, simple in its
structure, but brilliantly effective. It has sold in excess
of 25,000 DVD copies, which proves it isn't just me (buy yourself
a copy now - what are you waiting for?). The Eye 2
tackles suicide in pregnancy and reincarnation. It is enjoyable
and creepy, but does not have the impact of its predecessor.
Now we have The Eye... Infinity (a.k.a. The Eye
10, which refers to the ten ways to see a ghost), which
is a strange brew indeed because some scenes work and others
first problem is the inherent humour. The Pang Brothers would
have benefited the script by omitting it altogether; unless
the balance is precise it just doesn't work in a horror movie.
When one of the teens is taken over by a ghost and jerks along
an apartment building corridor, two local lads feel challenged
and begin to break-dance as if it's a competition. In this
instance the attempt at light relief steals away any suspense
which may have already built. In this film it only works on
one occasion. When the book is purchased, the wizened old
shopkeeper warns the young purchaser that whatever he does
he should not look at the last page. That night the pages
of the book are blown open by the wind, and the teenager slaps
his hand on the page to prevent it revealing itself. Then,
overcome by curiosity, he peeks at the page... only to discover
the book is priced more cheaply than he was sold it for.
it simple is the name of the game. Parts of the structure
of Infinity becomes unnecessarily complicated. This
is due to factors such as too many people running around,
rushing through the instructions of the book to reveal ghosts
in ten different ways (from Thai rituals), and a multitude
of dark and blurred ghostly forms. This is most definitely
overkill - as if because using one of these forms in The
Eye worked really well, it somehow makes sense to use
a hundred in this film. It doesn't.
As for the rituals themselves, the first two ('adapt the sight
of the dead', and 'through suicide during pregnancy') are
direct references to the previous two films in this trilogy.
In fact, the dead boy asking for his missing report card,
and the lift full of ghosts are also reused. Some of the other
rituals include: bending over and looking between your legs
(a custom in Thailand performed during funerals held in temples
- if you want to see your departed relatives); smudging the
soil from buried coffins on your eyes; opening an umbrella
inside a building (apparently, a ghost can hide your shade
and follow you home); and tapping non-stop with chopsticks
on a bowl (to attract hungry ghosts).
In conclusion, there are some good ideas here, but Infinity
is suffering from the desperate need for a good film editor
who could drop the parts which don't work and tighten this
up into a force to be reckoned with. On a final note, I hear
that in 2007 an American version of the first brilliant film
is going to be made. All I can say is "Noooooo!!!"