The Eye – also known as Seeing Ghosts and original title Gin gwai – is a 2002 Hong Kong-Singaporean horror film directed by Danny Pang and Oxide Chun Pang [as the Pang brothers] from a screenplay co-written with Jojo Hui. It stars Angelica Lee, Cusnithorn Chotiphan and Lawrence Chou.
The film spawned two sequels by the Pang brothers, The Eye 2 and The Eye 10. There are three remakes of this film, including two Indian movies Naina (Hindi, 2005) Adhu (Tamil, 2004) and The Eye, a 2008 Hollywood production starring Jessica Alba.
Blind since the age of two, 20-year-old Hong Kong classical violinist Mun undergoes an eye cornea transplant after receiving a pair of new eyes from a donor. Initially, she is glad to have her sense of sight restored but becomes troubled when she starts seeing mysterious figures that seem to foretell gruesome deaths.
The night before her discharge from hospital, she sees a shadowy figure accompanying a patient out of the room and the next morning the patient is pronounced dead.
Mun goes to see her doctor’s nephew, Dr. Wah, a psychologist, about the strange entities that she has been seeing. He is skeptical at first, but as he gradually develops a closer relationship with her, he decides to accompany her on a trip to northern Thailand to find Ling, the eye donor.
When they ask a village doctor about Ling and her family, he is unwilling to reveal anything but becomes more cooperative when Mun tells him that she sees what Ling used to see. Apparently, Ling had a psychic ability that allowed her to foresee death and disaster…
“The Eye boasts a highly enjoyable and scary first half, but quickly goes downhill there after. Once the secret of the cornea’s former owner is revealed, the film ceases to be a ghost story and instead becomes a minor mystery that culminates in a rather out-of-place sequence involving fireballs and more special effects.” Beyond Hollywood
“The film’s treatment of Ka-man’s isolation as she attempts to enter the world of the seeing provides its emotional hinge, obscured by the reliance on redundantly flashy visual effects that occasionally provide a genuine frisson…” James Marriott, Kim Newman, Horror! 333 Films to Scare You to Death
“Despite the many Asian horror tropes on hand, The Eye is sufficiently unnerving and suspenseful for the most of its running time and would have been satisfying had it ended on the restrained “acknowledging the dead” climax but the Pang Bros. follow that up by decimating hundreds of extras (and a poor CGI rat) with a needless fiery surprise “it’s not over yet” ending…” Eric Cotenas, DVD Beaver
Cast and characters:
- Angelica Lee as Wong Kar Mun – Sleepwalker; Re-cycle
- Cusnithorn Chotiphan as young Mun
- Lawrence Chou as Dr. Wah
- Chutcha Rujinanon as Chiu Wai-ling
- Tassanana Nuntasaree as Ling (4 years old)
- Damronowiseeatpanich as Ling (8 years old)
- So Yat-lai as Yingying
- Candy Lo as Yee (Mun’s sister)
- Dampcingcingtrakulsawadee as young Yee
- Ko Yin-ping as Mun’s grandmother
- Pierre Png as Dr. Eak
- Edmund Chen as Dr. Lo