The Austin Chronicle

Live From SXSW's Screening Room

By Peter Debruge, March 14, 2003, Screens


D: The Pang Brothers; with Lee Sin-Je, Lawrence Chou, Chutcha Rujinanon, Candy Lo, Pierre Pang.

Narrative Feature Special Screenings, U.S. Premiere For anyone disappointed that the recent Daredevil didn't dare take any of the risks its sightless-superhero premise offered, The Eye is a must-see. In this elegantly unsettling thriller from the Pang Brothers, a young woman blind since an early age suffers from a nasty case of déjà vu immediately upon regaining her sight. Seems the late eye donor left some unfinished business for our heroine to settle, her quite literal gift of second sight cursed with visions of the undead. Such a schlocky premise might have made for a reasonably entertaining horror film, but the Pangs aren't limited by such blind ambition. They shoot higher, crafting a brutal, beautiful ghost story (the body count is astounding) with a life-affirming lesson. In the opening moments, the film stutters, then appears to melt in the projector. The audience thrashes nervously in the dark, until the image returns. When it does, the perspective feels fresh, vulnerable, and alive, a reminder of the gift on which our cinematic voyeurism depends. (Westgate, 3/15, 8pm)

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