My Little Eye is a 2002 British horror film directed by Marc Evans. It has been described as Big Brother meets Friday the 13th, which makes the concept of Dead Set, in a way (since that, too, is in the horror genre), older than they think.
The film begins with five young competitors—Emma (Laura Regan), Matt (Sean Cw Johnson), Danny (Stephen O'Reilly), Charlie (Jennifer Sky), and Rex (Kris Lemche)—auditioning for an unnamed Reality TV show. The rules state that they must live in an isolated country house for six months in order to win one million dollars. The catch? If anyone leaves, everyone loses. It continues at the last few weeks, where the people think about what they miss and what they plan to do with the million dollars.
However, the stakes are rising as their rations grow shorter, the heat is shut off, and Danny's grandfather dies. Rex thinks that it could be The Company, but no one else suspects a thing. Tensions rise, and a mysterious package appears containing a bottle of champagne and a shotgun. Later, a mysterious young man named Travis (Bradley Cooper) joins the group for a day, and he and Charlie have sex. Danny is accused of taking Emma's items and makes a gift for her, and that's where things start to go downhill, to put it mildly.
The film relies on twists. Spoilers will be unmarked.
This film provides examples for the following tropes:
- Asshole Victim: Matt. Not that the cop who shot him was any good either though.
- The Bad Guy Wins: In the end, all five housemates die, and the bad guys, including Matt before his own death, win.
- Breakfast Club : Word Of God on the DVD commentary says the group is a modern-day, pessimistic sort. There is even a Shout-Out during the time-passage montage, where they watch the film.
- Complete-the-Quote Title: From the children's guessing game, "I spy with my little eye..."
- Creepy Monotone: Matt, when he tells a story of how a woman got raped, speaks in a low and moderately sinister tone.
- Cruel Twist Ending: Matt kills everyone, then is killed by the cop who is actually in on it. Then Emma appears to survive — only to be locked in a cell so they can slowly watch her die.
- Death by Sex: Charlie is the most sexual character, including sleeping with Travis onscreen, and she dies second, while taking off her robe and getting a massage no less.
- Driven to Suicide: After giving Emma her present and overhearing her and Charlie talking about it, Danny hangs himself. And in a deleted scene (just before Danny hangs himself), Matt, being the Manipulative Bastard that he is, is shown to be encouraging Danny to resort to suicide.
- Fanservice: Charlie's shower scene, and her (very long) sex scene with Travis.
- Final Girl: Played With. Technically, at the end of the film, the only person still alive apart from Travis and the cop is Emma. However, unlike numerous instances where this trope is played straight or even subverted, by the time she's left as the lone survivor her eventual survival is virtually out of the question.
- Homage: To The Breakfast Club per Word Of God, which they watch. Part of the concept is a dark updating of that film.
- Immoral Reality Show: Strangers are supposed to live together in the house for six months to win a million dollars. But they're not. It's actually a snuff film being broadcast on a secret website where they bet on who will last longest and how they'll die.
- Jerkass: While it is debatable as to who the other jerks are, Rex is definitely one. Near the end of the film, he becomes a Jerk with a Heart of Gold when he figures out what is going on and helps the housemates.
- Kill 'Em All: Emma is technically still alive at the end of the film, but everyone else is dead and she is locked inside the house in the bitter cold, so her death is all but inevitable.
- The Killer Becomes the Killed: At the end of the film, after killing Charlie and Rex and attempting to murder Emma, Matt dies when the cop shoots him in the head.
- Manipulative Bastard: Those who set up the twisted competition — but Matt especially, who seemed like a nice, "normal", average guy (save for the disturbing little story he shared) at first.
- murder.com: The Reveal. They are in theory in a reality TV show, but they're actually being set up to live their last six months before being killed, which is streamed on a snuff website.
- Oddly Small Organization:
- This is what tips the characters off to the true intention because the website isn't seen by hardly anyone, which proves that there's an ulterior motive.
- The company is heavily suggested to be just Travis and the cop.
- Off with His Head!: Matt beheads Rex before the latter plays an Evil Dead game.
- Schrödinger's Canon: Deleted scenes confirm that Danny did kill himself, admittedly with encouragement from Matt. By being deleted, it's left ultimately ambiguous whether Matt killed him or he committed suicide in the final film.
- Sex in a Shared Room: Implied to have had several times, but only clearly happens when Travis has sex with Charlie in front of the cameras, knowing full well they're being watched.
- Snow Means Death: The house is snowbound and everybody dies.
- This Is a Competition: Rex's state of mind throughout the film. It's clear that he really wants to win the one million dollars.
- Too Dumb to Live:
- Rex going downstairs on his own under close videosurveillance just to relieve his cough... And the dumbest thing was that he just began playing a videogame there - as if absolutely nothing had happened. Naturally, it ended with Off with His Head!.
- Matt. Think of it, the customers are supposed to know who the real killer is, especially after Danny's death. Yet Matt's name is marked alongside other victims on the encrypted site. He could at least start to suspect that maybe something just wasn't quite right... Not that any viewer cares about him, of course.
- Wham Line: "Should I kill her now?" The extra wham comes in who says it.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The cop kills Matt after the massacre.