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The Eye 2 (HK 2004)

Director : Oxide Pang Chun and Danny Pang
Cast : Shu Qi, Eugenia Yuan, Jesdaporn Pholdee, Philip Kwok, May Phua, Rayson Tan, Alan Tern and San Yow

Synopsis
Pregnant Joey (Shu Qi) teeters on the brink of madness after several fruitless suicide attempts. She’s the unwilling recipient of an influx of shadowy images that haunt her pervasively.

Review
by Edward Tang

What can I say? This “sequel” is basically following the same path as the first one (see ghost) but really has nothing to do with it in any other regard. Me myself, I wasn’t really a fan of the first one, but respected what the Pang Brothers brought to the table. This film really doesn’t have anything special going for it, a few interesting images but not much else. The direction is top notch, but the story gets cluttered after you see the ghost image about 50 times and just get tired of it. Some aspects of the story do remain interesting however, we get an explanation of reincarnation with includes people’s ghost figures floating into vaginas and coming back as babies. But then the story seems to be another like Sixth Sense, as the events unfold as to why this ghost is actually following her, it just seems beat to death. Basically for the time being, the film lurked around, gave us a few interesting images and just ended with the sappy happy ending. I can’t say that I was bored, but this film just didn’t improve on the above-average original. 

Joey (Shu Qi) is a suicide freak, who attempts to kill herself with an overdose of pills (for reasons unexplained, I assume from lack of attention). She does not succeed with taking her life and in the process sees a bunch of dead figures. One figure in particular, a girl, always appears to fuck with her. In all of this, her ex-boyfriend is ignoring her, when she finally learns out that she is pregnant. So Joey eventually tries to go to the doctor and see if she truly is pregnant, when she sees this ghost girl. As she’s waiting at this train station, the ghost girl throws herself in front of the train, and “dies.” Joey sees this, nobody else does, which makes her suspect something! She later finds out that her ex-boyfriend was this dead girl’s husband! OH BOY! Which brings me to the final plot point, as I already mentioned: Ghosts going into vaginas and being “reborn” as babies, which is what happens to Joey’s baby. Guess who becomes Joey’s baby? You got it, the dead girl who has been chasing her the entire film. 

As it moves, the story isn’t half bad actually. There is a little bit of interest into why everything is happening to Shu Qi, where as some horror flicks just force you to hate the main character. It really doesn’t rely on gory images to interest you, rather than a few vomit scenes and people jumping off buildings. For the most part, I didn’t like that it kind of tied into the Sixth Sense, when it had a few scenes that showed the past with our new added knowledge about the characters. Sure we needed to know that the ghost was causing all these slip-ups that Shu Qi was experiencing, but it looked like the filmmakers were trying to say “Oh look at us, we are very clever!” Some of the plot points become cliched, from the constant visuals that make this girl go insane, from the screaming, to the really sappy ending that just leaves me annoyed. The explanation onto why this happened was unique, and their ideas about how reincarnation is actually achieved is pretty good. Still, the film lacked a good pace, and when it got into scenes that included the ghosts (Old people don’t make good ghosts), they got old quick.

As for another question, can’t anybody make a horror film that is not only “scary” but worth following for? Sure, the story wasn’t that bad, but nothing really stood out to make it GREAT. The visuals were there, but I’ll only see a weird looking ghost girl in the corner so many times before I take myself into the corner and break my head with a mallet. Sure interesting explanation, but it took us a while to get there with all of the wasted material (Take this for example, she’s loopy and sees a bunch of ghosts but waits 8 months to try and kill herself). The girl seemed determined to ignore the ghosts and to have her child, which made me curious when she was in baby class and she was smiling and shit. I hated the fact that they dragged in Mr. Mad Dog (Philip Kwok) from Hard Boiled fame to give us the up and up on why this ghost was attracted to Shu Qi in the first place. What a lame scene. No, I’m afraid this is not referring to the attraction in a lesbian way. I’m sorry out there.

Shu Qi was good in this film, and I have no problem saying it. Sure she threw out the typical screams of such characters, but she did have a presence in the film and showed her acting talent can stretch outside her nude scenes. She was good and the rest of the cast was mild. The ex-boyfriend was played by some guy who I don’t remember and when he had his little speech about feeling bad about his dead wife, I didn’t care. Then we had the ghost figure, whom was also annoying as hell and kind of attractive in that crack whore begging for a sandwich way. Philip Kwok is worth mentioning I guess, he really isn’t in much else and for his small part, he plays the wise Monk who blabs on and on for way too fuckin’ long. I was hoping that he would have pulled out that awesome pistol he had in Hard Boiled in the gun storage chamber under the hospital. Not to shoot Shu Qi, but to shoot me for actually considering this film “GREAT” at one point. 

The Eye 2 gets a small recommendation because it’s better than a bunch of horror films I’ve seen in the last few days. Sure it’s not better than the Eye, but it has its moments. I guess they are mostly throwaway moments, but whatever gets you into it. Shu Qi has a good performance and the direction is solid but something still feels like it was missing to make this film rise above it’s average quality. 

Rating
Plot : 2/5
Acting : 3/5
Entertainment : 2/5
Overall : 2/5

Notable Scenes
- The two failed suicide attempts.

Buy this movie at YesAsia – The Eye 2

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