My Little Eye was released in 2002, and came to me on high recommendation. Despite its attractive cover, this film was one that I always passed over in favor of watching something else, and I’m sorry to report that I didn’t miss all that much over these past eleven years. With its horror character archetypes and low budget style security cameras, My Little Eye pretty much commits nothing but horror blasphemy with none of the potential gory rewards.
The basic premise for the film is that five rubes are tricked into taking part in a web-cam reality show which promises a one million dollar reward to the contestants if they can all stay in the house for the duration of the show. The catch is that if any one member of the cast leaves, they all lose the money. Naturally, the “company” that orchestrates the show begins messing with their crew of Hollywood ugly young adults. The cast is made up of your essential twenty-something slasher film victims. We have the nice guy, the wise-cracking smart guy, the guy that doesn’t have any lines because he’s obviously going to turn out to be evil, the Madonna, and the whore. This movie is complete with dead animals that serve no purpose but to cast a foreboding tone, and unnecessary boobs; the trademarks of cheap horror. Unfortunately, after only a few minutes, the cogs are already lining up. The crew assembles around a crackling fire to share horror stories about their past, some of which create glaring windows into the future of My Little Eye’s plot. Seriously, it’s as if these characters and scenes were transposed straight from a campers-get-hacked genre film. What’s most strange and unforgivable about My Little Eye, is not so much its lack-luster scripting, but is instead the fact that the further we get into the film, the more convoluted the plot becomes. This film’s creators have tried to weave too many yarns together, and by the last half hour of the movie, after the characters have already discovered that **spoiler alert** there is no actual reality show, viewers are left pretty confused. It’s never completely clear who the threat is. Is the good girl’s childhood murderous friend back for revenge? Is the company hosting a snuff site to take bets on who the survivor will be? Has mute guy with a bowl cut been in cahoots with “the company” all along? I thought we were supposed to wait for the kiddos to turn against each other? I’m not ashamed to admit that I really lost track of what I was supposed to be afraid of.
Another of My Little Eye’s crimes is that Bradley Cooper is in the cast, but is totally underutilized. I’m not even a big fan of Bradley Cooper, but it seems like if they managed to cast a recognizable face along side these c-list actors, that he would have had a more prominent role. It’s as if Cooper just happened to be a friend of one of the cast members, and happened to be on set one day, and they coerced him into playing a quick role. Seriously, the entire suspense of one of the few truly effective scenes is broken whenever the security lights are tripped for the first time, and instead of seeing an ominous figure at the far end of the yard, Bradley Cooper’s face pops up in the snowy window where for some reason a web camera happens to be sitting.
One the bright side, My Little Eye does do security camera footage the right way. Instead of using handhelds, this film is shot with cameras that remain steady for 95% of the film. There are no rolling shots of grass passing by, or moments of too much information about what the actor’s pores look like. The premise of the film allowed the director to keep his cameras steady, but still reap the rewards of that cheap, home-film look. This film was of course made before the explosion of Paranormal What-sits.
Essentially, My Little Eye just doesn’t make up for its slow pace and poorly executed plot reveals.