The Eye 2 (2004)

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 09/08/2015
Summary: Not that scary

“The Eye 2” has a lot going for it—a bravura performance by Shu Qi who, after 8 years in front of the camera and 52 movies was capable of carrying a film; a propulsive score by Payont Term Sit that doesn’t intrude but underlines some of the scary moments and crisp, almost minimalist cinematography by Decha Srimantra. Sit and Srimantra are long time creative associates of the Pang brothers, having shot and composed most of their movies. With both Pang brothers behind the editing bench, “The Eye 2” had the look and sound that they wanted.

What it didn’t have was a coherent script. Plenty of exciting scenes, enough “what the hell was that” moments and a frightening enough set of ghosts were wasted because the story just dragged along and went nowhere, finishing with a limp redemption through childbirth ending. Just when one began to care about Joey Cheng, whether she would make it through her pregnancy (or even the next ten minutes of the movie) the script wandered off into an odd limbo of action without meaning.

Joey tried to kill herself four times—at least four, I might have missed a few. Things begin with her in a hotel room taking an overdose of sleeping pills and washing it down with a few glasses of whiskey. Many people that die under those circumstances, either accidentally or by their own hand, wind up choking on their own vomit. She wakes up enough to roll over and not asphyxiate herself. She throws up and we see Joey in the emergency room having her stomach pumped. Shu Qi even looks good with a tube down her nose. She also tried to hang herself—too clumsy, fell off the chair before getting the noose secure and jumping onto the subway tracks in front of an MTA train, where Hong Kong commuters grabbed her before she could delay things. The fourth attempt was leaping from the roof of the hospital. This was really a few attempts since after landing with a thud Joey was able to painfully (very, very painfully) make her way up the stairs to the roof and do it again. After the last attempt the ghost she kept seeing hissed in her ear that she would never allow Joey to die. Oops—stuck in the worst situation possible for a Buddhist, unable to die and be reincarnated, stuck in the present wretched life forever. Probably as bad as other cinematic versions of Avici hell in which one is killed only to be returned to the time, place and state of mind before his death only to die in exactly the same way. Forever.

Joey gets some wisdom from a Buddhist master who tells her the ghosts are just trying to get home, to work off the karma they had built up in past lives, lives of which they have no memory. This is cold comfort because the ghost that really terrifies her and who seems to have some control over her is the spirit of the wife of her lover, a very vengeful spirit who simply isn’t going away. The former lover is a self-pitying lout who didn’t deserve the love either of Joey or of his wife, played as person with an infuriating lack of understanding of any consequences of his actions by Jesdaporn Pholdee.

Everyone else is a cipher—there a few funny turns, one by the MTA clerk who says he doesn’t have to answer Joey’s question about how many suicides have been at that station because “he is new on the job.” Another happens when the Pang brothers tease the audience. Joey is taking a shower and slips as she is getting out of the “Psycho” level shower stall. Joey would be naked, Shu Qi would not but the audience (at least this part of it) was more interested in how a ghost was going to manifest itself than in the potential flash of nudity from Shu Qi.

Not really a horror movie, more of a suspenseful journey through a familiar world that has been turned inside out and is now threatening and full of sinister surprises, a place that the Pang brothers have visited often since “The Eye 2” to better effect.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 04/07/2011

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 02/25/2006
Summary: The chinese version of "sixth sense"

I was not a fan of the original, and this sequel is a completely different concept.
This movie did not scare me, and i figure out what the ghosts represented early on in the film.
Though i wasnt scared, i did enjoy the concept of the movie.
The photography/scenes of the movie was done beautifully.
Shu Qi should no longer get the tag of only knowing how to act "cute" on screen, she was quite impressive

I didnt enjoy "sixth sense" and this movie i found more enjoyable.


Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 01/18/2006
Summary: extremely well produced

Featuring Shu Qi in the starring role, the Pang Brothers strengthen their position on the cutting edge of the Hong Kong film industry with The Eye 2. Beautifully photographed, the sequel [in name only to the 2002 film] manages some real queasy stomach, spooky moments.

No transplant operations this time around, there are plenty of hospital scenes to keep the tension palpable. The clever screenplay delivers enough plot twists to keep the viewers on edge of their seats. This movie is extremely well produced; soundtrack and editing combine for a sublime experience.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: JohnR
Date: 08/19/2005
Summary: Solid ghost movie

I think we need more film categories, as I don't think movies like The Eye and The Eye 2 belong in the horror category. These are really ghost movies, of which there are two kinds: funny and serious. This is a serious ghost movie, so criticisms that it isn't scary enough and fails as a horror film, while understandable, are off target.

Hsu Chi gives a strong performance as a woman who finds out she's pregnant just after she breaks up with her boyfriend. At the same time, she begins to see ghosts and is pursued by one, whose goal is to be reincarnated as her child. Against Hsu Chi's wishes.

There are a lot of ghosts-scaring-Hsu-Chi scenes, some artificially made to be scary by having the ghost suddenly pop up and putting eerie soundtrack noises in the background. The kind of scene where you'd jump a little even if the ghost looked like the Pilsbury Dough Boy. But don't get me wrong, there are some genuinely cringey scenes.

I think this movie probably plays better to a Chinese audience because the Chinese are much more accepting to the notion of ghosts than we are in the West. The more familiar you are with the Chinese concept of ghosts and Buddhist teaching, the more you will appreciate the movie, though I don't think these two bits are a prerequisite.

My only fault with it was the ridiculous scene at the end when Hsu Chi climbs up the stairway a second time. Once would have been enough; were the Pangs were just looking for a way to get more blood on the screen?

All in all, a very tight, well done movie; at least as good as the first one. Hsu Chi dominates the screen; she's basically in every scene; not just in them, but the center of them. It's a tough role and she performs it brilliantly. This should silence the last of the Hsu Chi bashers.

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 02/01/2005

For an actress better known for showing her points than actually acting, Hsu Chi has slowly developed as one of the more reliable workers in the Hong Kong movie world. The Eye 2 is another nice showcase for her talents of the clothed variety. This movie is nothing all that outright scary, but it does have a few nice twists and there is definitely a nice creepy vibe to the proceedings.

Despite the title, this is not a true sequel, but -- like the first movie -- The Eye 2 tells the story of a young woman who starts seeing ghosts. This time, Hsu's pregnancy is the catalyst for the visions, and as the film goes on, she becomes worried that the ghosts after after her baby. Alternating between madness and reality, she starts to take any means necessary to protect her unborn child.

I'm not too big a fan of the Sixth Sense style of horror. I'd much rather see blood and guts than wispy apparitions. While most of The Eye 2 is relatively claret-free, there are some fairly shocking bits, and the finale is fairly brutal without being overly gruesome. Combined with a nice visual style and a strong performance from Hsu Chi, The Eye 2 is one of the better horror/suspense movies I've seen recently. If you're a fan of the first film, then the second installment is right up your alley.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]

Reviewed by: PAUL MARTINEZ
Date: 12/20/2004
Summary: Not A True Sequel...Not Truly Scary Either

The Eye part 2 has some of the Pang's elements from the original but just not enough to make this a winner.

This film goes in a different direction as we are introduced to new characters and a new tale with no connection to the previous installment. Joey, in an effort for attention, half-heartedly tries to commit suicide to upset her former lover. However after hanging up on her when she calls him, she decides to really go thru with it. She survives and her horror begins. There are some moments of suspense but not enough. Instead we are subjected some very disturbing visuals, some which made me a little uneasy at times. But there was nothing really scary at all. Except for maybe one scene at the bus stop.

Shu Qi makes this watchable. I feel she is a little underated in her abilities as an actress. Although I still don't understand after 9 months how she still acts suprised when she sees ghosts or other happenings. But I blame that more on the directors than her.

If you're a Shu Qi fan then you should be ok with it. But it really pales to the original in my eyes.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: Dhugal
Date: 09/03/2004

The Pang brothers, big (twin) kids on the block, are hot property on the Asian and Hollywood movie circuit. Having edited Hong Kong’s biggest film phenomenon in years, the Infernal Affairs trilogy, had The Eye bought by Hollywood after its world-wide box office acclaim (especially in far off Europe), the brothers are seemingly set for big success…

Their work so far Bangkok Dangerous and The Eye have been solid genre works marked by signature quick paced editing and slick cinematography. The Eye, particularly, brought style and narrative construct to a genre which has never been a strong suit in Hong Kong cinema.

So it was with much anticipation that I entered the dark viewing room to watch their the second instalment (but not a sequel) to possibly their most famous movie. And slick, paced and stylish it was…with extremely tense music. But it just wasn’t scary, which surely must be a damning criticism of any horror movie.

Sparse in story land it was too. But here’s a smidgen; Shu Qi plays down-and-out Joey, who’s man has just given her the jolt. She’s suicidal, but pregnant. Her suicide fails and suddenly finds herself seeing dead people.

The movie seems satisfied for most of its running time with “scary” set pieces where Joey screams a lot. Only in the last 15 minutes does the plot evolve (rather interestingly if you can wait) explaining why she is being followed by ghosts and how her child will turn out.

I lost patience and started humming along to the catchy scary music.