The set-up: five strangers, three young men and two young women, have agreed to live in an isolated house for six months, the minutae of their lives being cast on the internet. As long as no one leaves before the webcast is up, they'll receive a million dollars. Now, with only a week to go, it seems that their anonymous backers are becoming increasingly desperate to force them out...

Shot digitally, the filmmakers successfully connote the reality TV show and the webcast, eschewing the tracking and subjective shots de rigeur in the contemporary horror/thriller film in favour of unusual camera set ups - including some nice POV shots from hidden cameras in objects - green-tinted night vision cam, and suitably mechanical-feeling pans and zooms.

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That said, it's the connotation of reality TV and webcast, not denotation. The images may have that grainy, grungy, near-haptic quality, but the filmmakers are careful to keep the signal-noise ratio comfortably within most viewers' tolerance levels. If this is a representation of a reality, it is one with the mundane pared down, a somewhat prescient choice of camera positions beforehand and sound in a 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. (In fairness, the sound design and scoring are rather effective.)

The story is similarly inauthentic. I can't comment on its handling of the Big Brother phenomenon as I refuse to watch such programs. But the ways the film riffs on the Internet and, ultimately, things the filmmakers have grabbed at to be cool and cutting edge don't really seem to hack it. But then there can't be that many Headpress reading computer nerds out there, so take what I say with a pinch of NaCl...

The acting is good in comparison with other films of the same genre. Casting unknowns was a good decision. The characters seem more real and the viewer is able to approach them without the baggage of presuppositions that well-known faces would have brought.

My Little Eye is well made and smarter than the average modern horror/thriller. It didn't really click for me, but I'm weird. Now where did I put my Virtual Strangler tape?

Reviewed on: 13 Aug 2002
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People agree to take part in a reality TV experiment, which will see them share an isolated house for six months. But with a week to go, do their backers want them out?
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Read more My Little Eye reviews:

Angus Wolfe Murray ****

Director: Marc Evans

Writer: David Hilton, James Watkins

Starring: Jennifer Sky, Stephen O'Reilly, Laura Regan, Sean CW Johnson, Kris Lemche

Year: 2002

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: UK, Canada


EIFF 2002

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