17 January 2011

Clarky's Review: The Eye and The Host

I've decided to review both of these films together as they are both quite similar. They're both critically lauded South Korean horrors, and they're both shite.

It may seem a strange choice to go back and review these two films given the range of films that are yet to be reviewed. But I feel it is my duty to warn anyone who may stumble across this site to stay away from both of these films. Everyone knows what the classic horror movies are and trying to branch out can be difficult, as we found out to our expense.

Both films, as noted above, were critically well received. Quite frankly I'm not sure how. Maybe I've seen too many Asian horror films that I felt that they brought nothing new to the table (with the exception of some decent special effects in The Host which will be discussed later). The Eye especially feels like something I had seen many times before, specifically in other South Korean films which often seem to be rooted in folk tales. Maybe this is just my western point of view that because I don't watch many South Korean films that they all seem quite samey.

The Eye does have a reasonably good premise (a blind women has an eye transplant, but after the operation she begins to have mysterious visions and starts to see dead people) and has one effective and creepy scene in a lift, but this does not generate enough good will to make the remainder of the film enjoyable. Maybe the greatest disappointment of the film was the fact that the film showed so much potential only to squander it with some shocking subplots (including a ridiculous love story) and not enough genuine scares. So much so that by the time the inevitable twist (a South Korean favourite as far as I can see) comes round you don't care as you just want the film to finish (which is a shame as the twist in this case is actually decent). This was the first time in Horror Club that we openly discussed turning off the film, or fast forwarding, but we persevered so you didn't have to! Avoid this film like you would avoid a directors cut of Star Wars Episode I (with added special effects, Jar-Jar Binks and Anakin - buuuuuurrrrggggghhhhhhh).

After tasting the delights of A Tale of Two Sisters in the 2009/10 season we didn't want to let The Eye leave a bad taste in our mouths with regards to Asian Horror, and so 3 weeks later Fin gainfully stepped up again with The Host. A film that boasts the tag line - "Its Jaws via Jurassic Park". Unfortunately, they left out the number 4 after Jaws and The Lost World after Jurassic Park. This was awful.

The special effects are impressive, but only because the film is produced outside of Hollywood and the effects are mildly better than your run of the mill blockbuster (Clash of the Titans I'm looking at you), but this is not enough to sustain a film for 2 hours, you also need some watchable and entertaining characters that you can relate and connect to.

Maybe its a cultural thing, but I could not watch a film where the protagonist is such a ...well I can't say on this site, but he is an unbearable doofus and is so unsympathetic that we had to stop watching. Thats right, for the first time in Horror Club history we took the momentous decision to turn the film off.

We fast forwarded the film to the end (just in case something stunning happened) and things appeared to only get worse, with the ending looking like an unmitigated disaster.

Not only was this film not scary but the acting , script and storyline made it unwatchable.

In case you hadn't guessed I would suggest you avoid both these films as if you're life depended upon it.

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