out of Five
Running time: 95
British horror film that’s basically ‘Blair Witch meets Big Brother’ – not without flaws, but atmospheric and full of enough shocks to keep things interesting.
My Little Eye is a low-budget, shot-on-digital-video horror film in the same vein as The Blair Witch Project, and the chances are, if you liked that, you’ll like this too. However, while the ‘run-up to Halloween’ release date won’t do it any harm, you can’t help thinking they missed a trick by not releasing it during the annual Big Brother hysteria, as it certainly makes a few unsubtle points about what people will do for money and fame.
It’s also one of those films where it’s a good idea to avoid reviews as much as possible, because the less you know about it going in, the more you’ll enjoy it.
Survive To Win $1,000,000
The basic set-up is simple. Five strangers accept an internet challenge to live in a deserted house in the middle of nowhere for six months. The house is covered in little cameras, meaning that the housemates are live, on the internet, twenty-four hours a day. If they survive, they'll get a million dollars each. However, if one of them leaves, they all lose. We pick up the story in the final week of the six months and spooky things have started to happen…
The film has an impressive opening. After the 'application video' intro section, there’s a great bit where it covers the whole six months in around a minute, with a series of over-lapping web-cam shots 'ticking' round the screen, which is split into four. This also sets up the noise of a camera being used -a distinctive "click"-, which will be heard a lot throughout the course of the film and put to chilling effect later on.
Unknown And Excellent
The cast of unknowns are all excellent and the fact that you don’t know any of the actors means that it’s impossible to predict who’ll make it to the end.
However, they could perhaps have benefited from being forced to watch an entire season of Big Brother, since when the film begins, they don’t behave as if they’ve been living together for six months. Also, there’s no-one among them who is especially likeable, although, arguably, that’s sort of the point.
It’s true that the film isn’t without flaws. Chief amongst these is the use of music, which goes completely against the set-up of the film and only serves to cheapen, rather than emphasise the shock moments. Similarly, they very occasionally break the conceit of all the camera-shots being from the web-cams, although in one particular case, this is used to brilliant effect.
Share The Paranoia
However, in general, the shocks are handled nicely and you even begin to share the paranoia of the house-mates as to whether they are really being watched and who exactly is watching, etc. The set is impressive too – the film was shot in Nova Scotia, implying a sterling effort on the part of the location manager.
In short, this is an effectively creepy little horror film that is best seen on the big screen with a Saturday night audience for full effect. It has one or two flaws, but is still extremely enjoyable and marks director Marc Evans out as a potential talent to watch. Recommended.