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My Little Eye review

Why would five strangers agree to live in an isolated house for six months, their food rationed, their endurance severely tested, their every move broadcast live on the web? For the challenge? The fame? The money?

All of the above but mostly the cash. All the participants have to do is last the six months and they get $1 million. Simple, eh? Well yes, at least until the faceless Company - - the puppeteers controlling this experiment - - start screwing with their heads. Private memories are dredged up, a hammer covered in blood appears on a pillow, housemates start dying...

Marc Evans' psychological horror steals shiny ideas from Big Brother, The Blair Witch Project and House On Haunted Hill, adding just enough of a twist to avoid charges of plagiarism. Suddenly we're talking influences. Likewise, My Little Eye is a genre movie that sets out to scare using familiar techniques, - but has a couple of its own to play with. So while our ears are crudely assaulted whenever Evans wants to manufacture a knee-jerk jump, our visual stimuli is filtered through the house's surveillance cameras. Subjective POV is a no-no, ruling out a key weapon of the horror director, and there's zero opportunity for John Carpenter-esque tracking shots. Instead we have wall-mounted cameras panning and zooming to pick out their subjects, an effect that works brilliantly in the green-tinted night sequences.

Of the five contestants, only Kris Lemche's mercenary Rex is rounded, meaning it's impossible to care when clogs start popping. But then maybe that's the point - as Big Brother demonstrates, anyone who signs up for this kind of thing is a waste of space.

Not quite as scary as it could be but a cleverly conceived and constructed thriller nonetheless. Ably demonstrates the base nature of reality TV while implicating the viewer.

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Available platformsMovie