The Eye 10 (Gin Gwai 10) (2005)When seeing is never believing.
The Eye 10 steps away from the serious hauntings and instead decides to be a teen terror movie making use of all the horror chestnuts that are indicative of an American late-nineties slasher, minus the traditional antagonist. It tries to mimic American comedy horrors but gets lost in translation somewhere and results in a culturally charming yet confusing movie. There are goofy meddling teenagers, ancient evils that shouldn't be meddled with, a supernatural dance off and even a fart joke. About 40 minutes in to it the tone of the film changes back to something more serious and spooky, sufficiently enough and for long enough to make the viewer forget about the previous nonsense. The silliness resumes towards the end and the film then continues to clumsily merge the two styles until the typically clichéd end.
The scares are back to the typical thick and fast jump scares; ghosts jumping at the screen, ghosts hiding in the background and the like. There are also a few attempts at gross-out moments although they don't really come to fruition. The gore is sparse but it tries to deliver more than blood splatters and injuries typical of the more sincere and commercially viable supernatural Asian horrors. There is an eye removal and a brief rolling around of a decapitated head, once again it is the level of gore combined with the lightheartedness of the situation that makes this comparable to a slasher. The folklore element remains intact and, as mentioned before, even tries to tie the previous two The Eye movies into the mythos.
The film starts in Thailand this time. Chongkwai is entertaining friends and relatives with touristy type activities such as bus trips, reading from "10 Ways to Encounter Ghosts" and trying to summon the dead. Methods one and two from the book are "having a cornea transplant" and "trying to commit suicide while pregnant" so they skip these as they have been done before in previous movies. They start to work their way through the rest with varying results until it all starts to get a bit serious and one of the goofy gang gets taken to the spirit world. They then have to use the remaining techniques to try and get him back.
There are a number of other threads running concurrently with the main story, none of which really tie in or even seem that relevant. The beginning of the film shows a botched exorcism which would be completely disconnected from the rest if Chongkwai's mother didn't tell a story about that time she witnessed an exorcism. There is also a mysterious girl at the beginning who pops up again at the end just so we can remember her and discover she is a ghost. These threads are too loosely integrated to add much value to the story and are just an excuse to show a few more spooky happenings.
The Pang Brothers have shown their diverse abilities with the first 3 The Eye films, each has a different tone, a different style and each of them shine in their own way. Sharing a title creates certain expectations and for the first two sequels in the franchise the expectations aren't quite met. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is up for debate. The Eye 10 delivers slapstick humour contorted by Asian culture and jumps between the styles rather than seamlessly merging them. The seriousness spoils the humour and vice versa. There is a slight sense of an attempt of a spoof of the previous films in places, watch out for the unfortunate child with the missing report card (also make sure you have seen the previous films). The Pang Brothers know what looks good on screen and, while the shots aren't as epic as some of their other works, it is still a visually pleasing film. They also know how to deliver some tension and scares but decide not to in this one instead aiming for a much more lighthearted and fun approach to death and sacred religious beliefs.