The Eye 10, also known as The Eye 3 and The Eye Infinity*, isn’t the 10th installment in te series (this might be why some American releases titled it The Eye 3, God forbid anyone doesn’t see it because they think they’d have to see the original and nine other sequels). All it has in common is that characters begin to see ghosts, and after a bad scare (the first in a series of many, many bad scares) really, really wish they could stop. Fun fact: the original Thai title for The Eye and the others in the series is Gin gwai 10, which I was told means Seeing Ghosts in Cantonese.
I went into this not really expecting much (I hadn’t seen the below trailer), and became very frightened as soon as the first method of seeing ghosts worked, and stayed that way until the Pang brothers were done playfully kicking my central nervous system around the room. I also stupidly watched it at 1 or 2AM, the only light in the room coming from the TV. I had two kittens and my husband asleep next to me, so I’d hate to see how freaked out I would have gotten if I’d watched the movie alone with all the lights off. Not that I would have done it; I’ve gotten more than I bargained for with a horror movie many times, but I’m not a total imbecile. I’m well aware that would be about as smart a way to treat my insomnia as taking an entire box of No-Doz.
When this movie sets out to scare you, be ready to feel your heart leap to your throat the way it would during that first huge drop on the coaster, because you’re in for one fucking scary, memorable ride!
The official plotline is this: While visiting their friend Chong Kwai (Ray MacDonald) in Thailand, cousins Ted (Bo-lin Chen) and May (Kate Yeung), May’s friend April (Isabella Leong), and April’s boyfriend Kofei (Yu Gu) are introduced to The Ten Encounters, a Thai book (called, I believe, “The Ten Encounters”) detailing ten ways to see ghosts. For fun,** they try out some of the easier methods and get sucked deeper and deeper into the game until it becomes tragic, even after Ted and May return to Hong Kong.
Fun? For FUN? Jesus Christ, HOW BORED would you have to be to resort to that? They can’t, I don’t know, get high and go to a park and play Frisbee? Go see a movie about ghosts? Plenty of those to pick from over in Thailand! Great ones, too! Have a beer, maybe even smoke a joint, and go see 4Bia or Taai Hong, Death Place with all your ‘bored’ buddies together at a midnight showing. Or go and rent a couple of them, hell, rent and watch Jackass: The Movie. Even if there’s no Cantonese subtitles, they’d still be rolling on the floor laughing. Go find and chew some “bozo leaf”–whup, sorry, wrong movie, that’s Bedeviled from South Korea I’m thinking of.*** Trying hard drugs would probably be safer than fiddling with this book. Not that I recommend trying hard drugs, I’m just pointing out that it’s about as smart and safe of an idea as following the methods described in an ancient book (especially one that just kind of showed up in a store out of the blue one night, rather than having to go out of your way to be able to locate and purchase it) that not only appears to have certain illustrations of some kids who look almost just like you, but also that you were warned strongly against fucking with by several very wise, elderly people who had personal experience with the supernatural. Come on, what’s the worst thing that could happen? All you have to do on one of the first ones is dig up a dead body to prepare for the ritual!
Anyway, apparently, the book says once you start the first method, you have to go through all ten of them or something horrible will happen (worse than getting in an elevator crowded full of hideously burned ghosts that appear and hover around you the second the doors close, or vividly hallucinating that your entire eyeball suddenly fell out of the socket and is resting in your hand, I guess). As far as I recall, no-one bothers to tell them this key piece of info until after they finish one of the rituals. They mention, rather vaguely, in the trailer that once the game is started, it must be finished, but that’s not really specific enough. Which of the games? Oh, when you said ‘the game’ you meant all ten of them? Thanks for not waiting until it was way too late and we’re too terrified to leave our apartments, or sleep. No, it’s cool.
You don’t need to have seen the classic original (or The Eye 2, which I thought was definitely the weakest of the series and was glad I watched on Netflix Steaming rather that waste a disc rental on) to make sense of this (though you should see the original regardless). There’s about a two-second nod and a very brief clip of the first two films during a montage, that’s it. Like The Eye, it’s really a pretty simple concept that the Pang brothers just fucking go to town with. There’s a couple of awesome and even clever in-jokes, as well as nods for viewers of the first movie, however, (“Have you seen my report card?”) so I recommend seeing The Eye first, if you haven’t already. After I finally caved and bought this movie, there’s a featurette with the Pang brothers. They said they wanted this final installment to be akin to a roller-coaster ride with scares and fun, and I think they definitely made that movie. There’s more comic relief (intentionally) in this installment, not the least of which are a few of the character’s reactions to having seen ghosts (if you saw the trailer, you get the idea). On that first badly-timed 2AM viewing, I recall watching with the blankets almost pulled up to my nose after only 15 minutes or so, but I remember being surprised by laughing more than twice. It only came out as a nervous semi-muffled heh heh at the time, but I also knew I was in the hands of someone with a genuine sense of humor as well as horror. When this movie sets out to scare you though, be ready to feel your heart leap to your throat the way it would during the first huge drop on that roller-coaster, because you’re in for one very fucking scary and memorable ride! Strap in. And if Thai ghost movies already scare you? Then you really might not want to watch it alone.
Finally, I included a clip of one of the most memorable and frightening set-pieces (as I like to call it, “Fuck it, I’ll Take the Stairs”) from the original 2002 The Eye …just in case you still feel sleepy. You can count on the Pang Brothers to keep your ass awake! This scene should be shown in film scools to illustrate an example of how to build a mood of suspense, tension, and utter terror without using one drop of blood. If you haven’t seen the 2002 film, this will probably help you decide whether or not it’s too creepy for you to handle after dark. Feeling a little off-filter/jumpy at the moment? Save this to watch when you’re not alone…
*In more than one case, I’ve even seen it titled The Eye …Infinity.
**Rather than putting away the book in an extremely speedy manner and walking away as fast as possible, then immediately pretending the book never even existed, something I would have probably excelled at doing, I’ve found that upon occasion, I can surprise myself with pretty decent compartmentalization skills).
*** Though if I lived in the small community that Bedeviled takes place in, I’d be chewing ‘bozo leaf’ 24/7 just to escape the completely wretched reality of being female while stuck there for life. Then I’d probably take a dive off the cliff if I saw the bozo leaf supply was about to run out. I doubt any other women who have seen the movie will disagree with me on that.
- Final Trailer in “Ten Trailers to Keep You Awake” #10 – The Exorcist (1973) (horrorboom.com)
- Chills to Beat Summer Heat, Part Two – Ju-on: White Ghost (Shiroi Rôjo) (horrorboom.com)
- Claymation Horror Short of the Month – Lee Hardcastle’s T is for Toilet (horrorboom.com)
- Death Visits Aunt Agatha (richarddaybell.wordpress.com)