HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Sunday, March 17, 2013

THE EYE 3 -- movie review by porfle

(This review first appeared online at in 2008.)

First off, THE EYE 3, aka "Gin gwai 3" (2005) is directed by the Pang brothers, who also directed THE EYE and THE EYE 2. But the international English title for it is THE EYE 10. And according to IMDb, Tsui Hark is in the process of directing another movie called THE EYE 3. Also, this film is known in some European countries as THE EYE: INFINITY, which I guess clears things up, not.

Now we've gotten all that out of the way, I'll admit that I haven't seen THE EYE 1 or 2. But from reading their summaries I see that they are referred to during an early scene in which five young friends--one living there in Thailand, the other four visiting from Hong Kong--are staying up late telling ghost stories. When these stories fail to produce sufficient giddy scares, the Thai dude, Chongkwai (Ray MacDonald), whips out a book he found one night in a dark, mysterious bookstore. The book claims to contain ten surefire methods for calling forth ghosts. This, of course, gets the other youngsters all goose-pimply with excitement and they can't wait to try them out, which they will later learn to deeply regret.

These early scenes let us know that at least part of THE EYE 3 is pretty much a comedy laced with mildly scary elements. As I watched the five friends using the various tips from the book to conjure up ghosts and then writhing in rubber-faced terror, it reminded me, of all things, of Don Knotts' THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN. As in, more amusing than actually scary. The ghosts look pretty cool and there are some fairly good goose-shots here and there, but very little of this is truly creepy or disturbing. Much of it, in fact, might even be labeled "family friendly" Halloween-type fare.

Things start to get somewhat more serious when one of the rituals backfires and Gofei (Chris Gu) disappears. When days go by with no sign of him, cousins Ted (Chen Po Lin) and May (cutie-pie Kate Yeung) dejectedly return to Hong Kong while Gofei's inconsolable girlfriend April (Lok-si Leung) stays behind to continue the search. A series of frightening ghostly encounters in Hong Kong drives Ted and May back to Thailand to put the matter to rest once and for all, with the help of Chongkwai and his spirit guide mother. Meanwhile, April has turned up missing as well.

All of this is nicely directed and shot and the performances are good. Little of it is very scary, though. May has a run-in with a ghost in the hallway of her apartment building, and when Ted comes to her aid he gets possessed and ends up in a break-dancing contest with a couple of teenagers, which he wins by walking on the ceiling. We also get the old "between the knees ghost peek", which gives the Pang brothers a chance to offer us a great view of May's rear baggage compartment.

Later, when Ted and May enter the spirit dimension in search of Gofei and are surrounded by hostile ghosts, they discover that the best way of warding them off is by--get this--farting. I don't know about you, but watching some intrepid ghostbusters farting back a bunch of oncoming wraiths doesn't exactly send chills up my spine. So, even in the midst of what should be the most frightening place of all, we get more of a sense of amusement than fear or dread.

There's a bit of a surprise at the end, and it fades out on a serious note that's rather poetic and haunting (pun intended) and somewhat sad. If the whole movie had maintained this sort of feeling in addition to ramping up the scare factor, it might have been memorable. As it is, though, THE EYE 3 is much like those ghost stories the kids tell each other early on--good, giddy fun for awhile, but soon forgotten.

Buy it at

No comments: