thechild’seye 3D horror

From the Pang broth­ers come an­other new horror of­fer­ing – The Child’s Eye – in 3D no less.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FRONT PAGE - By CHEW WAN YING en­ter­tain­ment@thes­

NEVER work with an­i­mals or chil­dren,” warned Amer­i­can co­me­dian W.C. Fields, but horror mae­stros twin broth­ers Danny and Ox­ide Pang from Hong Kong boldly tack­led both in their lat­est horror of­fer­ing The Child’s Eye.

Touted to be the first 3D Can­tonese horror flick, the film sees six young­sters who are va­ca­tion­ing in Thai­land be­ing stranded in a shabby ho­tel. The group en­coun­ters a se­ries of un­ex­plain­able events. They meet three weird chil­dren, dis­cover a dis­em­bod­ied hand and are haunted by a fe­male ghost.

When the guys in the group mys­te­ri­ously dis­ap­pear, the girls go look­ing for them and fol­low a puppy that can see ghosts, even­tu­ally lead­ing them to the ho­tel’s un­der­ground pas­sages.

“Ac­cord­ing to gen­eral per­cep­tion, it’s eas­ier for chil­dren and dogs to see a ghost. That got us think­ing, ‘ why don’t we do an­other horror film about some chil­dren and a dog who can see spir­its?’” said Danny when met at the Me­dia Asia Group of­fice in Hong Kong re­cently.

“We had enough time to teach the kids. In ad­di­tion, the dog was trained be­fore­hand. So it was not re­ally dif­fi­cult. You just need a lot of time and pa­tience,” said the 44-year-old di­rec­tor. (Ox­ide was not present at the in­ter­view.)

Maybe the big­ger chal­lenge lies in mak­ing the film in 3D.

“Ev­ery­thing had to be done at a slower pace. We could only man­age an av­er­age of 14 shots ev­ery day, com­pared to 30 shots when mak­ing nor­mal movies,” said Danny.

Apart from serv­ing up a 3D horror treat, just what tricks did they have up their sleeves, af­ter scar­ing the wits out of us with those hor­ri­fy­ing vi­sions fea­tured in The Eye (2002), The Eye 2 (2004) and Re­cy­cle (2006)? “This time we have some­thing that re­sem­bles a hy­brid of a hu­man and a dog. Cre­at­ing that was a new ex­pe­ri­ence and we ap­plied dif­fer­ent tech­niques,” Danny re­vealed.

The idea of the hy­brid crea­ture came from a ran­dom im­age the sib­lings found on the In­ter­net.

“The pic­ture left such an im­pres­sion on us and we de­cided to put it in this film.”

For their lat­est horror mas­ter­piece, the broth­ers gath­ered a young cast that in­cluded Shawn Yue, Rainie Yang and Elanne Kong.

“ The Eye 10 is a com­edy while this one is pure horror and it tells a sad story,” ex­plained the di­rec­tor.

Dur­ing the shoot, all eyes were on Yue and Yang, who were ru­moured to be a cou­ple when they starred in Tai­wanese idol drama To­mor­row (also known as The Love Book) eight years ago.

“We didn’t even know they had col­lab­o­rated be­fore. We only found out about it when we started shoot­ing. We think it’s old news and I don’t think any­one would be in­ter­ested,” said Danny.

How­ever, he was wrong. The in­ter­ac­tions be­tween the pair con­tin­ued to pro­vide fod­der for gos­sip for the Chi­nese me­dia, which painted the pair as be­ing “awk­ward and un­nat­u­ral” dur­ing the shoot.

Kong was quick to dis­pel the ru­mours when she was in­ter­viewed by the Malaysian press.

“No, Rainie loves me more than Shawn,” she quipped, leap­ing to her co-stars’ de­fence. “They were pro­fes­sional. The at­mos­phere at work was good. Some­times you don’t have to be­lieve what you read in the news,” she said.

The 23-year-old was not ly­ing when she said she has be­come fast friends with Yang.

“I used to watch Rainie in her TV se­ries and lis­tened to her songs. When I met her, I felt like I’d known her for a long time. We be­came great friends. She would come to my ho­tel room to chat with me. We talked about any­thing, in­clud­ing our re­la­tion­ships and ca­reer. By the end of the shoot, we ac­tu­ally hugged each other and cried.

“We have been keep­ing in touch un­til to­day. Ev­ery time she comes to Hong Kong, I would visit her at her ho­tel, even if we only have 15 min­utes to catch up,” she said.

The Child’s Eye was not Kong’s first role in a horror flick.

“Two years ago, I did Scared 2 Die, an­other horror pro­duc­tion by the Pang broth­ers.

‘Ev­ery­thing had to be done at a slower pace,’ says Danny Pang about film­ing in 3D.

Un­like be­fore, I am now more fa­mil­iar with the film­ing process and know what ex­pres­sions to put on to be scary,” said Kong, adding that she is a huge fan of the horror genre, her favourites be­ing The Eye and Shut­ter.

Shoot­ing the film in 3D came as a brand new ex­pe­ri­ence for the ac­tress.

“There was a lot more wait­ing in be­tween, be­cause with 3D, ev­ery an­gle and po­si­tion has to be pre­cise. I needed some time to ad­just to that at first,” she said.

The film­ing took place in Bangkok, which is home to var­i­ous tales of horror, as well as folk leg­ends. As to whether the cast and crew had any su­per­nat­u­ral en­coun­ters dur­ing the shoot­ing, Kong said: “Luck­ily, the ghosts don’t ‘like’ me. My as­sis­tant went into a lift once and saw a long-haired girl be­hind her in the mir­ror.”

Mean­while, Danny had never seen a ghost in his life. “I have heard peo­ple claim­ing that they saw spir­its even when they were in Thai­land for a day. We lived there for over a decade but have not en­coun­tered any­thing pe­cu­liar,” said Danny.

Speak­ing to Danny, it was hard not to think about The Eye, the film many con­sider to be the broth­ers’ best work – an opin­ion shared by the filmmaker him­self.

“We spent 10 years work­ing on the story. It’s the kind of story that’s hard to come by,” he said.

Af­ter The Eye, the pair kept the mo­men­tum go­ing with The Eye 2 and The Eye 10, but Danny, who is the older of the twins, was con­tented to stop at three films.

“I don’t want to do an­other film on The Eye be­cause it was al­ready so good. The first one is al­ways the best and it’s dif­fi­cult to live up to the suc­cess but we try our best,” he said.

The Eye has not only pro­pelled Malaysian ac­tress Lee Sinje (now mar­ried to Ox­ide) to star­dom, but has also opened the door to Hollywood for the Pang broth­ers, as they went on to di­rect Hollywood star Nicolas Cage in Bangkok Dan­ger­ous, the re­make of their de­but in 1999.

“I don’t feel any­thing (about go­ing Hollywood). I just try to do the best for ev­ery film I make. As di­rec­tors, the en­vi­ron­ment may be dif­fer­ent – you might speak English in this film and Can­tonese or Thai in the next – but the men­tal­ity would still be the same,” said the di­rec­tor. So what’s next for the duo? “I would love to do a love story and we are get­ting some­one to write the script. But when it comes out, I’m sure you guys would say that it’s a horror movie. You wouldn’t be­lieve that there would be no ghost in it,” he quipped, while adding that they are plan­ning to come up with a 3D mar­tial arts flick.

As for Kong, the pretty lass is busy shoot­ing a TV se­ries in Bei­jing for China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion (CCTV). On top of that, she is cut­ting a Man­darin al­bum.

“I’m a greedy per­son. I want to do all three (films, TV and mu­sic) at the same time,” she said sheep­ishly.

“I en­joy per­form­ing on stage and see­ing the au­di­ences’ im­me­di­ate re­sponse, whereas I get to ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fer­ent lives through act­ing,” said Kong, who has tack­led some chal­leng­ing roles in the past, in­clud­ing a leukaemia pa­tient (in 2009’s Ba­sic Love) and an autis­tic girl in Suo Ming Tong Hua (loosely trans­lated as Fa­tal Fairy­tale), an­other up­com­ing Pang film.

Kong re­vealed that she would re­ally want to star in a love story.

“I want to go back to ba­sics. I’ve done thrillers and at­tempted dra­matic roles. Now I re­ally want to do a sim­ple, ro­man­tic film. I want to ex­pe­ri­ence a great love af­fair in a film,” said the ac­tress.

The Xi­a­men (Fu­jian, China) na­tive, who came to Hong Kong at the age of three, be­came a much sought-af­ter new tal­ent in the Chi­nese scene for her abil­ity to con­verse flu­ently in Man­darin, Can­tonese and even Hokkien.

“I feel blessed. It en­ables me to take up roles in not just Hong Kong films and se­ries, but also Chi­napro­duc­tions. It’s con­ve­nient be­cause I don’t have to pick up an­other new lan­guage when I act in the CCTV pro­duc­tion. So I think I have my mum to thank,” she con­cluded with a laugh.

Ill-fated lovers: Shawn Yue and Rainie Yang are a cou­ple on the verge of break­ing up in Pang broth­ers’ new 3D horror film TheChild’sEye.

‘Now I re­ally want to do a sim­ple, ro­man­tic film,’ says Elanne Kong.

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