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!
I’ve sat down to write this review a number of times… I feel like an archeologist sifting through the dirt trying to get at the heart of this film. “The Child’s Eye” is a Chinese horror film with a very strange barometer as to its feel. It doesn’t feel like it was constructed by crafts men… it feels like someone made a movie with budget just because they can…
The basic story is about bunch of teens on vacation in a haunted hotel… which is as unoriginal as all f*cking hell. This is a scenario that is right up there with a bunch of teens that go camping in the woods and… In fact I think whenever you start off a horror film with a “bunch of teens” unless you’re making those character super unique and well written you’re just retreading cliché… now to run with those clichés lets compliment the fictional story cliché with the real life cliché that the actors in said film give terrible performances. The standard frozen faces and lips dumbfounded with no reaction in the eyes. Which is funny because a truly awesome actor can emote just using their eyes. Don’t believe me? Check out Peter Cushing’s performance in “Twins of Evil” it’s very subtle and it’s done all with his eyes.
Now mind you, yes, this is a foreign film and I LOVE foreign films… At the same time just because it’s foreign doesn’t mean that it’s good and foreign films have become more and more Americanized of late… and that annoys me… and you can see a few touches of it in a “The Child’s Eye.” But that didn’t really bother me, mostly it was the terrible acting and A LOT of CGI in this film…
But there is a flipside to this film… Which is highly creative bits that make the film watchable and at times enjoyable.
Like the dog boy monster as a sideline to back story of why the hotel is haunted and the seemly insane owner of the hotel who likes to do his own butchering of meat to the feed dog boy. There a few moments of very imaginative scenery that pop up in the film… As well as scenes that are very creative in their usage of plot, but there is so much unoriginal crap that you have to get through to get to the good parts that when you get there it doesn’t feel like “whoa, everything just changed up.” Instead of a fast sharp turn to the different you are slowly eased into it, so what could have been “exciting” becomes kind of a dull moment.
It’s hard for me to see this movie and it’s hard for me to say don’t, it’s not mediocre because it’s middle of the road mind you, it runs down the middle by at times being extraordinary matched against moments of huge failings in an area where the film could have been excelling and it just kind of “averages out” killing what could have been a great film. There are some really great concepts in this film but it seems like the Pang Bros. didn’t want to fully explore their material. Now I don’t know where the careers of the Pang Bros is going, I don’t know if the wreaking suck-dom of a latter day Nicolas Cage* is rubbing off on them when back in the day they made “The Eye” and then the O.G. “Bangkok Dangerous” and then they cashed on in the remake with Mr. Cage. Collectively, The Pang Bros. have made close to two dozen films… so why does this film feel like it’s a first attempt at making a “major” motion picture by some fresh out of college film students?
I’m not upset that I saw the film, it passed 90 minutes without feeling like a root canal but at the same time the film just was lacking in going the distance to make me feel happy that I saw it. Sometimes you see a film and you realize “it was a movie,” “it was made,” and “I saw it.” And not one of those things is of any consequence… I think that really is the pitch of this film.
*I am a fan of the “Raising Arizona,” “Vampire’s Kiss,” “Red Rock West,” “Wild at Heart” Nicolas Cage, back when he was a serious actor and ate a real cockroach for a part. The “Con Air,” “National Treasure,” “Wicker Man,” “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” Nicolas Cage makes me wonder “Who do you own money to and how bad is your drug problem.
“The Child’s Eye” is now available on DVD per Lionsgate Entertainment
The Child’s Eye (2010)