I Spy With My Little Eye
"My Little Eye" is a strange sort of movie which is at times rather clever as it combines the popularity of reality TV with the internet, not a particularly new idea but done in such a way to highlight both the fake ness and dullness of real reality TV. Yet it ends up spoiling thins by being too artsy with far too many experimental techniques and by delivering a sensationalist ending which pretty much jars with the first half of the movie. It's in fact not an easy movie to watch because it goes from being boringly dull to outright over the top.
Five young people agree to take part in an internet reality show where they spend 6 months in an isolated house where if they all remain for the 6 months they will win $1,000,000. But what seems to be a rather simple if mundane time in isolation turns dangerous when it appears that the producers of the show are playing some strange games with the contestants trying to mess with their minds.
The first third of "My Little Eye" is dull, but in a strange way it is clever being so dull. We get to watch the 5 contestants living in the isolated house and frankly not much happens. We get various cctv style shots of them leading quite mundane lives but at the same time it highlights how boring real reality TV is not just for those watching but for those participating. It almost shouts out that what we are delivered on TV as being reality TV is in fact completely fakery. It's the sort of opening which could make you turn off because little of any interest happens other than sort of establishing the characters and set up.
It builds on this cleverness when things start to happen and you get a feel that the production team behind the internet reality show are trying to spice things up. A strange sense of eeriness creeps over the house with noises starting to scare contestants along with a series of strange occurrences. It again seems to be saying that reality TV only really becomes interesting when someone starts to manipulate things. Again it's all rather clever and the paranoia which these 5 contestants starts to feel emanates out because like them you wonder whether it is the production team manipulating them to get them to leave or whether there is something more sinister going on.
But then to be frank everything about "My Little Eye" which was intriguing and clever is lost because to turn it into a horror they deliver a sensationalist ending. It ruins all the cleverness as it turns it into a rather dumb horror almost in away imitating the "Saw" movies. I am sure some will gain pleasure in the exciting ending after what appears to be a rather dull movie but personally it wasted what up until then had been a clever take on the reality TV phenomenon.
Even though the ending ruined things for me there is a side to "My Little Eye" which I didn't like and that was it slightly artsy feel. Director Marc Evans seems to be constantly striving to wow us with the bleakness of the isolated snow covered location with a heavy contrast between light and dark. Accompanying this is a whole range of camera techniques, shower shots from inside the shower head, a camera on a pen tracking what is being written, jolting quick edits and off the side profile shots. It frankly makes "My Little Eye" rather disjointed as every other scene seems to be exploring yet another arts camera technique.
As for the performances well there are few recognizable faces with Bradley Cooper being the most obvious one but in a strange way having a cast of non stars makes it work. Don't get me wrong because none of them deliver a performance of any magnitude they are what you would expect from a modern run of the mill horror movie but being lesser known faces makes it more realistic.
What this all boils down to is that "My Little Eye" is a rather strange movie which at times appears to be surprisingly clever as it delivers a look at the falseness of reality TV yet ruins things by being a little too artsy and trying to deliver a sensational crowd pleasing ending. If you can get past the shock of the rather dull first third and understand what it is trying to say about reality TV before it delivers the sensational ending then you may find it a little entertaining.