My Little Eye
2 disc set

Starring: Kris Lemche, Sean C.W. Johnson, Stephen O'Reilly, Laura Regan & Jennifer Sky
Momentum Pictures
RRP: £19.99

Certificate: 18
Available now

Five young adults answer an Internet challenge to spend six months in a large secluded house and grounds as part of an on-line reality show. Every move they make is filmed and recorded. If one person should leave or break a rule, they will all lose out on the one million prize money. The first conflict comes when they receive a supply parcel containing only house bricks and a letter informing a contestant of his grandfather's demise. He wants to leave, but the others convince him it is a trick arranged by the organisers. When a hiker walks in out of nowhere, and a series of weird events increases suspicion, the five begin to question the legitimacy of the event. But calling for outside help is harder than they imagine...

The cinematic general release of this film left me disappointed. At the time we were awash with reality TV, such as Big Brother 3 and Survival, with I'm A Celebrity: Get Me Out Of Here! and the next Michael Myers instalment, Halloween: Resurrection just around the corner. Any variation on this theme seemed like a rehash. It wasn't a bad film, but it was an average outing which came at a bad time.

Nevertheless, My Little Eye does improve somewhat on second viewing. Any film should sink or swim on its own merit, but watching the Making of documentary on the extras disc does go some way to explaining the film's intentions. The main focus here is the isolation, rather than any conflict. The British director says that, unlike back home where it's likely a missing person will turn up again, in North America (where this is set) a person can realistically vanish, never to be seen again. I'm not certain I share his logic; however, if he's referring to the sheer vastness of wilderness space, his logic becomes more sound.

The interior structure of the house was designed from scratch, utilising a disused leisure centre, and very impressive it looks too. The attempt to create a claustrophobia by sometimes viewing events through the house cameras doesn't entirely succeed, however. This is mainly down to too many slow moments in the film. The option of watching the film interactive-style (for which you are inexplicably obliged to enter a four-digit code) merely highlights the problem. For example, if a kettle is boiling, it doesn't matter which angle you view it from, it's equally uninteresting. Furthermore, the characters are rather bland, with no real idiosyncrasies that stand out. Who cares if somebody is butchered; this is fiction, after all.

One nice touch near the conclusion of the movie is the use of night cameras, which show us the dim green hues of a character moving through the house. The reflection of light makes the eyes glow, like a startled rabbit's caught in twin headlights, and the effect is quite spooky. Many scenes take place for the sake of convenience. For example, there are no forms of electronic communication available, but a character still manages to lash together a crude Internet link just long enough to discover the relevant address to be a heavily security protected beta site, before conveniently being permanently severed.

In short this is an average, unspectacular film, although some credit has to be given for the attractive packaging of this two-dvd set. The Making Of documentary is interesting; probably more interesting than the film itself. Other extras include eight more scenes, a series of trailers and an enthusiastic, if not compelling, commentary. Don't believe the hype this project emerged on, it isn't a reinvention of the horror genre.

Ty Power

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