Eye Open


The theme song ends, or The Teaser starts, or we return from a commercial break, or we simply change scenes. What do we see but a close-up of a character's eye?

This is an Eye Open, a device sometimes used to show that a character is waking up. Of course, sometimes it's just used to show off an actor's good-looking eyes.

Not to be confused with Eye Awaken, which is when a character's eyes suddenly open, but the shot doesn't open with an image of them. See also One-Eyed Shot.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Canaan: Canaan
  • Fate/stay night: Saber
  • In The End of Evangelion, after a trippy Instrumentality sequence, we're treated to a live-action close-up of an eye opening. In the movie proper that shot is as disconnected as the rest of the live-action part, but a longer live-action sequence was shot where that would've been Asuka waking up.

    Films — Animated 
  • This is the very first shot of Puss in Boots when the titular character is introduced.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The movie Ĉon Flux opens with the title character's eye catching a fly.
  • Apollo 13 does this with Marilyn Lovell after showing her nightmare of losing Jim in space.
  • Used in the opening and closing of Avatar.
  • The opening to Blade Runner centers on the Blade Runner Dave Holden's eye viewing the neon skyline of 2019 Los Angeles.
  • The movie Cat's Eye opens with (what else?) a close-up on one of General's eyes. Serves also as a visual Title Drop.
  • Heathers has a close-up on Veronica's wide eye as she wakes from a nightmare.
  • Next does this with Nicholas Cage's eye twice, once before and once after his character's long vision of a possible future.
  • In The President's Last Bang, Korean CIA director Kim Jae-kyu is introduced with a tight shot of his eye while he's at the doctor. Later that evening, he will assassinate President Park Chung-hee.
  • One of the more disturbing in movie history has to be the closeup of Marion Crane's eye in Psycho after she flops over onto the bathroom floor.
  • Star Trek: First Contact opens with a close-up on Picard's eye as things flash back to when he was the Borg's prisoner.
  • Strike includes a title card announcing that the authorities are "searching for subversives", then cuts to a tight closeup of a spy's eye. The film is a Soviet propaganda piece set in Tsarist Russia, and the spy is hunting for subversive workers.
  • Cube: The film opens with a tight close-up of a man's eye when he wakes up to find himself in the Cube.
  • Event Horizon close-up of William's eye.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Criminal Minds episode "The Big Wheel" starts with a shot of the killer's eye opening when he wakes up in the morning.
  • House milks Hugh Laurie's very blue eyes for all they're worth.
  • Lost. Quite a lot, in fact.
    • The finale ends with Jack closing his eyes in a reversal of the pilot's first scene.
  • The opening sequence of Merlin features a close-up of Merlin's eye as it changes from blue to gold.
  • The opening credits to Robin Hood had an image of a bright green eye; causing some confusion among viewers considering no one in the cast had green eyes. (According to Word of God, it was meant to be Robin's eye).
  • Another backwards one in Smallville. During Lex's first appearance in season 3, we zoom in on his eye.
  • Supernatural
    • In the episode "Mystery Spot", many times when the loop resets, the camera is focused on Sam's eyes as Heat of the Moment plays in the background.
    • Season 9 ends with a close up of Dean's eye lids popping open to reveal demon-black eyes.
  • A first-season episode of the original The Twilight Zone does this.
  • The pilot of V (2009) does a backwards one: instead of opening on Erica's eye and zooming out, we open on Erica and zoom in to her eye.
  • Seen in the opening credits of The X-Files.
  • The Doctor Who serial "The Deadly Assassin" does a Dream Within a Dream variant, where an extreme closeup of the Doctor's brilliant purple-blue eye flickering open is used to indicate that we've passed from the world outside while Those Two Guys talk over his sleeping body to inside his Cyberspace Nightmare Sequence. Only within the dream-world, he is waking up. With an anaesthetic mask on his face. As a surgeon prepares to perform Meat Grinder Surgery on him. Aaaagh.
  • The Sherlock episode "The Final Problem" opens with a close-up on a little girl's eye opening.
  • [1]the adventures of pete and pete episode last laugh starts with Big Pete's eye opening.

    Video Games 

Alternative Title(s): Eyes Open