Unoriginal and with too many winks to other horror movies, The 3rd Eye feels like a desperate addition to the horror genre.
The 3rd Eye, or Mata Batin, is an Indonesian horror film that Netflix snuck on to their platform. It beggars belief how some of these films manage to secure a deal with the streaming giant, or if they accept a comical low offer in order to break even. Regardless, I have little to say about The 3rd Eye.
The story follows sisters Alia (Jessica Mila) and Abel (Bianca Hello) who have learnt the tragic news of their parents’ deaths. The sisters move back into their childhood home following on from their loss. When Abel was younger, she hated her childhood home, claiming she could see dead people, which Alia refused to believe. Now older, Alia is exhausted by her sister’s claims and proactively seeks the service of psychic Mrs Windu.
The 3rd Eye sells the mythological concept that everyone has this eye to see the spirit world but most people cannot utilise this untapped ability. Apparently, if you seek professional services from someone like Mrs Windu, the third eye can be opened, subjecting you to the world of spirits, giving the ability to speak to those who are dead and if you are in a chirpy mood, help them. I wish I had more to tell you about The 3rd Eye but all the horror movie does is recycle genre tropes we have seen too many times.
The story moves into the realms of unoriginality to a startling degree. The 3rd Eye moves the story at a quick pace at first; setting up the spooky house, providing the first jump scares, and tries to establish a pattern in supernatural behaviour. If you tried to skew your eyes slightly, you could view The 3rd Eye as some kind of sisterhood power story, but really it is a routine situational horror about two girls who can see dead people. The Netflix film bores you to the core, giving you an overhanging second act where Alia can see dead people for the first time and spends an outrageous amount of screen time running away from a spooky situation just so the movie can give a lovely nod to the special effects and makeup team.
Of course, as The 3rd Eye shoulders through the seen-it-all-before nonsense, there is more of the story to chew on, but by the time you get there, you could not care less. A momentary wink can be thrown to the two actresses, who do a consistent job with a poorly written story, but to be frank, the horror genre is not crying out for more movies like this. Netflix seems to fail to tap into the horror genre, as I swerve my memory back to the emptiness of The Open House. My only advice would be if you receive a sizeable budget, create a story that at least tries to achieve originality.