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07.09.08

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Phaedra

The Eye 3

One disc; Lionsgate; $26.98

By Michael S. Gant


A sequel in title only, The Eye 3 (which didn't open theatrically in the United States) connects to the original Eye only because Hong Kong creative pair Danny and Oxide Pang couldn't resist jumping on their own coattails one more time. Ostensibly, the first two movies showed two ways to see ghosts, and this time around we get lessons in eight more methods for encountering the denizens of the spirit world. A quartet of friends take a trip from Hong Kong to the Thai countryside where they obtain a manual about ghosts. In both locations, the kids conjure up shades of the underworld by doing things like bending over and looking upside down through their legs, rubbing soil from a grave on their eyes, tapping furiously on the sides of their rice bowls, opening an umbrella at night, playing hide-and-seek at midnight and so on. Eventually, two of the four get stuck in the great beyond and must be rescued. Despite the character continuity, the film unfolds as a series of vignettes rather than a coherent horror narrative. The young actors (especially Kate Yeung, a born mugger) are appealingly goofy, and the action unfolds at a mostly comic-scary level. The best moments include a menacing floating umbrella, a basketball with a life of its own, a possessed boy doing a demonic breakdancing routine and a clever Tales of the Crypt punch line about a deadly secret on the last page of a book. Just to prove that they really enjoy goofing on themselves, the Pangs throw in a very funny joke about the stupid kid in the hoodie who keeps moaning about his report card. Extras include interviews with the principals.


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