#31DaysOfHorror: My Little Eye (2002)

mpw-6358Five people are offered $1 million to spend six months together in an isolated mansion, with cameras watching their every move.

With enough time and distance, it’s easy to forget that the early 2000’s were a beautifully terrible time for horror movies. Such classic films as Feardotcom, Ghost Ship, and Thir13en Ghosts perfectly encapsulate what I’m talking about here, the “slick and sexy” sensibilities that just oozed from these movies, and so many more. The trouble with forgetting, though, is that you might end up falling for another title like I did with My Little Eye.

Directed by Marc Evans (Ressurection Man), and written by David Hamilton (The Young Americans) and James Watkins (Eden Lake), my little eye is the epitome of Y2K horror, with its internet obsession, its funky editing, and its terrible haircuts. The film falls apart from moment one, when it sets up that it is supposed to be entirely captured from webcams, which can’t seem to find a consistent look; the trouble continues with weak performances, and an overall goofy tone that occasionally dips its toes into being a mean spirited one.

One of the big problems with a movie like this, or when you have a found footage movie that is supposed to have been shot on cell phones, happens when it’s clear that the cameras either don’t make sense, or are simply not what they are set up to be. So many movies do this, and it always breaks the illusion. There are some attempts to make it look web-casty, but they are supplemented with traditional shots that kill the illusion.

The actors are cheesy in a sort of lovable way, and actually save the movie from falling apart completely. Our main cast of heroes is made up of Sean CW Johnson (Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue) , Kris Lemche (Final Destination 3), Stephen O’Reilly (The Nanny Diaries), Laura Regan (They), and Jennifer Sky (Xena: Warrior Princess), many of whom are familiar faces from television and films many of you who are my age would have watched.

On top of that cast, you have a surprise cameo from a young Bradley Cooper, in the role that immediately followed Wet Hot American Summer. His character is sort of confusing, and ultimately amounts to a clunky and obvious red-herring, who initiates an extremely gratuitous sex scene set to the song “Fuck The Pain Away” by  Peaches, no really.

There are some baffling editing choices, incorporating slow motion (including the hilarious slowed-down voices) and a reveal that is ultimately not terribly satisfying, and yet I found myself having fun with this one. It’s by no means a good movie, but it makes for a fun and even mean little movie when all is said and done. You really get a sense of the mean-spirited nature that James Watkins would later push to the forefront with the incredibly brutal Eden Lake, but My Little Eye serves better as a time capsule of the trends of the early 2000’s.

It’s very likely that this one was missed by most of you, so if you’re looking for something simple that you’ll probably have fun watching with friends, then this one isn’t so bad at all. Especially since it’s likely you saw those three movies I mentioned at the start (Side note: If you haven’t, watch them. They’re terrible, but they’re also a lot of fun).

Apparently this movie was originally a four hour film, cut down to 90 minutes for release. I hate to say it, but the extra runtime might have actually made the story feel less rushed. That said, if it was more than 90 minutes, I probably wouldn’t have finished.

The best one I’ve watched this month, thus far, but it’s still a bit too early for that to be a compliment.

MY RATING: ***

 

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