3-D shock and awe from Pang brothers

'Child’s Eye in 3D' to begin shooting in June in Thailand

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HONG KONG -- The first Asian digital 3-D horror film is coming to theaters from Universe Films and the directing twins Danny and Oxide Pang.

The $4.5 million "The Child's Eye in 3D" will begin shooting in June in Thailand. The Pang brothers, who are overseeing the postproduction of their $12 million comic adaptation "The Storm Warriors," due in December, will return to the horror roots that brought them international attention with 2002's "The Eye," which was remade as a U.S. version starring Jessica Alba.

The visual stimulation offered by the stereoscopic 3-D format will be used to the full in the signature Pang brothers' jump-out-of-your-seat shock tactic and spooky style, the twins told The Hollywood Reporter.

"The Child's Eye in 3D" tells the story of six stranded Hong Kong travelers during the shutdown of the Bangkok airport in the November 2008 anti-government protest and their supernatural encounters after the disappearance of three in the group.

The showpiece of the film will be an underworld made up of paper replica houses, filled with paper dolls and paper cars -- a city formed by all the paper-made facsimile of the real world burnt and offered to the deceased in the traditional Chinese ancestor worship ritual. The twins also will be introducing a monster in the film.

"The way to handle a monster is the same as creating spooky and suspenseful atmosphere, so it's something we want to try in this film," Oxide Pang said.

The twins will work with Hong Kong film equipment outfit Digital Magic for filming and with their longtime collaborator Fat Face Prods. for visual effects.

"We always enjoy new visual styles, so we went to see the 3-D Hollywood films the first chance we got," Danny Pang said. "The technology of 3-D filming is now well-developed enough for us to try applying our horror style."

The recent success of Hollywood 3-D offerings, including "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and "Bolt," was the driving force behind greenlighting "Child's Eye," said Alvin Lam, COO of Universe Films, which has signed a 10-year exclusive contract with the Pangs.

"We see that there's an established audience base for 3-D films," Lam said. "Besides, a 3-D film increases the audience's willingness to see it in a theater. 3-D is a lasting trend."

Universe is in the final stages of negotiations with a Singapore and Malaysian distributor for the film.

Meanwhile, Universe is debuting Benny Chan's $10 million sci-fi action pic "City on Alert" at Filmart as well as unveiling a three-minute promo for "Storm Warriors," which has been sold to most Asian regions.