3 Stars
Year Released: 2002
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 100 minutes
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Okay, what is it that Thai filmmaking twins Oxide and Danny Pang have about disabilities? Their last film Bangkok Dangerous was a romantic thriller about a deaf-mute hitman. This one is about a beautiful, blind 20-year-old (Lee Sin-Jie) who gets a corneal transplant that allows her to see for the first time since she was two. Only now she can also see dead people, Sixth Sense-like. So she hooks up with her cute, young doctor (Lawrence Chow) and travels to Thailand to find out more about the cornea donor…and why she’s seeing someone else’s face in the mirror.
The Pangs ratchet up the tension from the first frame with edgy editing, dreamlike effects, drifting focus, crashing sounds and creepy music, just so we’re in no doubt that this is a horror film. And it is quite scary in places, especially when we fully understand what we’re seeing! At the root of it all, though, is a very simple film without much real grisliness, a lot of suggestion and a rather cute and silly love story underneath it all (much like in Bangkok Dangerous, come to think of it).
There’s an overall cheesiness to the film that keeps it from ever becoming truly gothic and horrible. Some of it is frightening, parts are fascinatingly realistic and other sequences are goofy and rather sweet. But the overall visual imagery is terrifically effective, unsettling and eerie, yet darkly beautiful at the same time. I’m still waiting for the Pangs to get a Hollywood film to work on; I doubt it’ll be long.

Posted on June 8, 2003 in Reviews by

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