Director: David Moreau, Xavier Palud
Cast: Jessica Alba, Parker Posey, Alessandro
Nivola, Tamlyn Tomita, Chloe Moretz
RunTime: 1 hr 37 mins
Released By: Shaw
Official Website: http://www.lionsgate.com/theeye
Opening Day: 28 February 2008
Sydney Wells (Jessica Alba) is an accomplished, independent,
Los Angeles-based concert violinist. She is also blind, and
has been so since a childhood tragedy. As our story opens,
Sydney undergoes a double corneal transplant, a surgery she
has waited her whole life to have, and her sight is restored.
After the surgery, neural ophthalmologist Dr. Paul Faulkner
(Alessandro Nivola) helps Sydney with the difficult adjustment,
and with the support of her older sister Helen (Parker Posey),
Sydney learns to see again.
Sydney's happiness is short-lived as unexplainable shadowy
and frightening images start to haunt her. Are they a passing
aftermath of her surgery, Sydney's mind adjusting to sight,
a product of her imagination, or something horrifyingly real?
As Sydney's family and friends begin to doubt her sanity,
Sydney is soon convinced that her anonymous eye donor has
somehow opened the door to a terrifying world only she can
Another month, another unnecessary remake of an Asian horror
movie. Arriving on the heels of the dismal "One Missed
Call," "The Eye" is at least a bit more dignified,
cleanly telling its story and doing it with a modicum of know-how.
Unfortunately, the film sorely pales in comparison to 2003's
Hong Kong original. That one was rich in mood and fraught
with intentionally drawn-out, tension-filled scenes that genuinely
frightened and got under the skin. This updated edition is
quite faithful until the dumbed-down Americanized ending,
yet time and again the treatment is inferior.
Eye tells the story of a blind woman named Sydney Wells (Jessica
Alba), who gets a cornea transplant. While her new eyes are
working well, she suddenly discovers that they work too well.
Not only do they allow her to see, they allow her to see the
dead. Sydney is haunted by ghostly visions, and no one will
believe her. She soon decides to track down her donor to solve
far as remakes go, this film is practically a carbon copy
of the original Chinese-language film, which was directed
by the Pang Brothers. If you’re familiar with the original,
you’ll probably appreciate the remake. Some shots are
taken directly from the first film, and there are minimal
changes, many of which are for cultural reasons(But i can't
figure out why they kept the report card boy scene intact..).
Of course, Asian horror buffs will probably skewer this film
for being too Americanized and treading on the good memory
of the original. However, with smoother transition, it manages
to keep many of the creepier moments and still have an impact
which nicely round up each scene with a mystery aura instead
of a sudden jolt. Indeed, there is one aspect of "The
Eye" that improves upon its predecessor, and that is
in the abilities of directors David Moreau and Xavier Palud,
along with cinematographer Jeff Jur, to explore and depict
the realities of a blind person who suddenly can see again.
As Sydney gets acquainted with this new sense, she is bombarded
with the faces of people she knows and cannot completely give
up her old ways (i.e. she still reads in Braille and hits
the auditory function on her alarm clock to check the time).
A strong-willed go-getter with intelligence and a shade of
vulnerability, Sydney is a notable protagonist whose life
is more well-rounded than, say, the cookie-cutter one lived
by Shannyn Sossamon's character in "One Missed Call".
a stronger actress in the lead role of Sydney, this part could
have really cooked. As is, Jessica Alba continues to prove
that she can be cute and endearing in lightweight comedies
but hasn't the dramatic weight or prowess to fill out serious
roles. Alba's facial expressions range from scared to listless
to strained, not all of which she convincingly pulls off.
As confidante Dr. Paul Faulkner, Alessandro Nivola is bland
to the point of nondescription; his participation in the story
is next to superfluous. And, as sister Helen, Parker Posey
shows up for a few days' work and runs with a studio paycheck
no doubt large enough to keep her secure as she searches for
smaller, riskier, more interesting projects. Still, it's a
shame that someone like Posey has to play insignificant second-tier
in the horror arena, a film tends to kick up the level of
suspense as it rounds the corner and heads toward the climax.
In "The Eye," plot points are never dealt with and
the creepy element goes slack the moment the setting switches
to Mexico. The finale, meanwhile, is a cop-out of sunshine
and roses and hasn't hardly any of the pathos of the tougher,
less compromising Hong Kong version. Filmmakers David Moreau
and Xavier Palud aren't without promise, but like the Pang
Brothers last year with "The Messengers," their
cerebral artfulness has not yet found a way to sneak by the
jaws of the major studio system.
(A faithful remake that delivers the thrills and chills)
Review by Lokman B S