The Child's Eye

01/27/2019 15:25

Film: The Child’s Eye (Tung ngaan)

Year: 2010

Director: Danny Pang and Oxide Chun Pang

Writer: Danny Pang, Oxide Chun Pang and Thomas Pang

Starring: Rainie Yang, Elanne Kwong and Shawn Yue



This film I was turned on to when I was watching all of the films that are connected with the original film The Eye. Some of these foreign ghostly type films intrigued me, so I decided to check this one out. The official synopsis is a group of friends find themselves stranded in an old hotel. As they uncover the history beneath the walls, they’re slowly drawn into its sinister past making it harder to get out alive.

We start off with a couple sitting on a pier and watching the water around them. It established that this a couple that isn’t doing too well and we feel the tension. They are Rainie (Rainie Yang) and Lok (Shawn Yue). They are on vacation in Thailand.

The two are there with a group of other couples. Back at the hotel they learn that there is unrest in the country and riots are happening. It is decided that they are going to try to make it to the airport, before it is shutdown by what is happening. They don’t make it though. Their driver takes them to a new hotel so they can wait out what is happening. It should be pointed out that Rainie likes to read ghost books and this bothers Lok.

They check into this older hotel and there is a group of kids with a dog that draw Rainie’s attention. The dog barks at them and it should be pointed out that according to lore, dogs can see ghosts all the time. It tries to explain when they are barking for seemingly no reason; this is actually what they are barking at. I will admit, this part kind made me a little uneasy.

Things take quite the turn when all of the male friends start to disappear. Rainie along with her friends seeks out the children to learn that their first meal in the hotel, there was a ghost that was sitting at the table with them. They are told to just leave, but Rainie won’t leave Lok behind. The hotel has a dark past that involves the man who owns it, Chuen (Ka Tung Lam) and his wife (Jo Kuk), who is missing. There is also this weird boy that has the head of the dog. How is all of this connected and why did their friends disappear?

I should probably lead off here stating that this film doesn’t really have any thing to do with the other films in the series. If anything, it would really have to do more with the last one that came out, as it is focusing more on ghosts and the lore that come from Hong Kong. I do have to say though; this film does have some interesting aspects to it. The first thing is that I like that they are on vacation. Making it where they are stranded in a different place is something that does raise some tension. I would actually like to know what the unrest that is happening there is about, because I will admit, I have no clue. I do know many countries like this are subject to unrest and it can happen really quickly.

Something else that I do feel I should do some more research is the lore of ghosts and some of the beliefs that come from this country and others near by. I bring this up, because I have started to get more into Asian cinema and I’m one that usually research things that I get into. I feel that lack of background knowledge does hurt my views on fully understanding what happens in these films.

I did have some issues with this film though. I do think that it has a good setting and premise, but the problem becomes I almost feel that it is geared more toward a younger fan. It is interesting to see that this film is rated R, because I’m not entirely sure why. The film has a lot of things that just happen and I was lost as to why. I think it might have worked better to have characters disappear one at a time instead of all at once. It is shame, because the back-story for this film I really liked. The story just wasn’t as fleshed out as I wanted and I thought the ending was fine. I wasn’t the biggest fan though of the final image.

The acting for the film I thought was average as well. I thought that Yang was solid as the lead. She was pretty cute and I liked her determination to find out what happened to Lok as well as the rest of her friends. Lam is someone else that I thought was good. His character takes time to be fleshed out, but once he finally does, there are some interesting aspects to his character. I thought that Kuk looked good as the ghost, but we don’t really get much development though. There is an interesting dynamic at the reveal though. I thought Rainie’s friends were all were fitting for what they needed as was the rest of the cast.

Something that I did have issues with would be the effects. They decided to go with CGI and it looked bad. You could clearly see that it wasn’t real and it took me out of the film every time. Now I will say that the dog headed child looked good. That seemed to be done practical for the most part. That was creepy. I also thought the look of the ghost was also good. Aside from that, I do think the film was shot fine and didn’t have any issues there.

The score of the film really didn’t stand out either. There were a few things that were done with cues to make it creepier. There is also some good establishing of Rainie’s ring tone that plays out later in the film. I thought both of these were interesting uses of sound for a rather unremarkable aspect of the film.

Now with that said, this film wasn’t very good. I think that this is a film that might have been better suited to be marketed on its own, not as part of The Eye series, as it has very little to do with the previous films. I do think that this film did have some good aspects to it. I personally think that the film needed to flesh some of these out more. On top of that, I thought the film needed to do more to build the tension as I didn’t really feel the stakes were raised enough. There just are a lot of things that were unexplained, even though it had a good back-story. I do think that the acting was fine and the practical effects used were good, but the CGI was bad. There were also some good aspects to the sound design, but it wasn’t great. Now I will tell you that I watched this film, I had to watch it with subtitles on as it is from Hong Kong. Keep that in mind if you decide to watch this one. I would recommend it though as it really had some issues with it and find this to be below average.


My Rating: 3 out of 10