Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I saw the original film, just as I’m sure the majority of the people who have seen this version have, and though I thought this version of ‘The Eye’ wasn’t nearly quite as bad as I was led to believe it was, but it wasn’t all that good either and just left me wondering why does Hollywood insist on remaking these movies when I’m pretty sure that somebody out there has to have a semi-original idea up their sleeve. Plus it’s not like the Pang Brothers set the world on fire with the original film in the first place. I mean it was okay and a little creepy, but it didn’t leave an indelible mark on my psyche, say like Miike’s ‘Audition’ did, but we are talking Takashi Miike here. Curious as to why there hasn’t been news on a remake of that film yet.

Sydney Wells (Jessica Alba) is violin lead chair of the local philharmonic and has been without the use of her eyes since a childhood accident when she was five years old, but all of that is about to change as a suitable donor has been found for Sydney to receive a corneal transplant. As Sydney awaits for her eyes to heal, by her side is her older sister Helen as played by Parker Posey. Now I’m a Parker Posey guy, simply love the woman. I’d pay to see Parker Posey blow her nose in a movie, but my goodness could anybody look less like they could be a blood relative to Jessica Alba’s than Parker Posey? Drew Barrymore wasn’t free that week? Alicia Silverstone? Lucy Lui? Why not Gabrielle Union since apparently sisters don’t have to look like they come from the same genealogy line. Always nice to see Parker though. Anyway, the operation is a smashing success and slowly but surely Sydney’s brand new eyes are focusing in and introducing her to world of senses she has long since forgotten. Plus the bonus sensation of seeing dead people all over the freaking place.

Assisting Sydney in dealing with her new found eyesight is the dour Dr. Paul Faulkner (Alesandro Nivola) who Sydney tries to tell that something is terribly wrong with this new set of eyes that she has. Dr. Faulkner assures her that it’s all in her head, she’s just upset that she’s not the ‘special’ blind girl anymore and just try to ignore the

burning dead people and pissed off ghouls who have taken up residence in her brain. Sydney’s completely not down with that weak ass plan and needs the Doc to break his confidentiality rule and inform her who the hell these eyes used to belong to or she’s popping them out. Partly because he doesn’t want Sydney to go crazy and partly because she’s smoking hot, the Doc relents and it’s off to Mexico to find out the truth and discover why this dead girl is screwing with Sydney and hopefully put her to rest.

Similar to my feelings about Best Picture winner ‘The Departed’, this is a movie I’ve seen before and as such when the good parts were about to come there was no thrill, shock or surprise, i.e, the elevator scene in 'The Departed'. They threw some extra stuff in the mix, but also left out a few of the poignant scenes that were in the original. And this is the problem with this incessant onslaught of remakes is that you’re stuck having no choice but to compare it to the original. ‘The Departed’ was fortunate in that not an awful lot of people watch Hong Kong crime flicks and hadn’t seen or even heard of ‘Infernal Affairs’ so that movie came off as fresh to the majority of people who saw it. However almost all horror fans have more than a working knowledge of Asian horror movies so I’m guessing 70 percent of the people who saw this version of ‘The Eye’ also saw the original, and it’s going to suffer because of it. The other 30% being Jessica Alba slappies. Even if this version of 'The Eye' was good, which is really wasn’t, it’s behind the 8-ball from go.

Like most ‘horror’ movies released today ‘The Eye’ suffers from simply not being scary enough. There were a few scenes that were reasonably jolting, but they were very sporadic. Plus if you’ve seen the original, you already know that there is nothing particularly sinister about these pair of eyes anyway that you need to be concerned about, and directors David Moreau and Xavier Palud, despite their best efforts, couldn’t generate enough atmosphere to suppress this knowledge. The performances I suppose were adequate and I don’t think it’s a newsflash that Jessica’s Alba’s primary appeal in anything she chooses to show up in is her beauty. She screams on cue and looks worried just right when should be looking worried, overall handling the oppressed damsel in distress well, if not spectacularly. Though those voiceovers she did in the beginning and the end were pretty lame. Alesandro Nivola seemed bored out of his mind and I guess got the role because he knows how to speak Spanish.

Obviously there’s nothing fresh or special about this particular remake to inspire another viewing as it is run of the mill and lacking in suspense and excitement. If you haven’t seen the original then perhaps you may have different perspective and extract more out this film than I did. Angelina Jolie. Not that she would have done it for less than 100 billion dollars, but she, or someone who looked similarly ethnic, would’ve made a more logical big sister to Jessica Alba. Just throwing that out there.

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