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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.


Anime and Manga

  • 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 Cats Eye opens with (what else?) a close-up on one of General's eyes. Serves also as a visual Title Drop.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.
  • In the episode "Mystery Spot" of Supernatural, many times when the loop resets, the camera is focused on Sam's eyes as Heat of the Moment plays in the background.
  • 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.

Video Games

Evolving CreditsTitle SequenceFake Guest Star
HeathersImageSource/Live-Action FilmsHellboy
Eye MotifsEye TropesEyepatch After Timeskip

alternative title(s): Eyes Open
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