The Ring put Japanese horror remakes on the map. It was a creepy, exciting and disturbing picture that opened up an entire subgenre. Soon, Japanese horror films were flowing into the States like never before, not with subtitles but as fully remade, American pictures. It wasn't long before audiences realized that studios were taking advantage of them, converting questionable originals into quick, sloppy and generic horror films. Still, studios continue to pump this drivel out, and it's quite tiring.
The latest remake is The Eye, the Jessica Alba-starring vehicle about a blind woman who, after undergoing an innovative procedure to restore her sight, begins to see dead people. Unfortunately, The Eye is not The Sixth Sense; it's a silly, forgettable and uninspiring movie. The concept shows some promise, but The Eye falls into a similar trap that so many of these movies suffer from - an unoriginal plot, lots of cheap scares and some really dumb moments.
After Alba, who, of course, looks absolutely great in the movie (I didn't know blind people could keep themselves looking so hot), gets her eye transplant, she begins to see ghosts everywhere, from her apartment building to the coffee shop. As one might expect, the previous owner of her eyes was burned to death and has a story to tell. Alba, to conquer the demons that surround her, must figure out the truth. Puh-lease. First, this storyline has been doing so many times before in so many different movies. Everything from The Ring to Gothika and every Japanese remake in between has the exact same framework, and I am just done with it. Second, the directors and writers are so bold as to try to explain how Alba's eyes are possessed through scientific methods. Stupid!
So, basically, The Eye has the exact same plot as a dozen other movies, only with a different concept painted on the surface. To cover up this obvious deficiency, directors David Moreau and Xavier Palud decided to absolutely fill the movie with random scenes of angry ghosts and demons. There are a few good scares, but mostly the movie just has a bunch of random ghost scenes that do nothing to serve the plot. The movie never explains the creepy demons that appear, nor the dead boy in the apartment complex. It's clear that the directors didn't have a clue... either of them.
What bugs me is that The Eye could have been good had it been approached more a psychological thriller. Think of this: a woman gets eye transplant surgery. With her sight restored, she finds that many of the voices and people, including some of her friends, are in fact not living, breathing creatures. She may be schizophrenic, or maybe she's always had the ability to interact with dead people. Instead of being just like every other movie, where the main character falls victim to a curse/gift that allows some dead person to channel their story through him or her, we'd actually get an unpredictable and scary picture where it isn't even clear whether the lead is hallucinating or not.
Still, as is, The Eye does have its moments. I like the twist that is revealed implying that Alba's perception of herself may be skewed, and the ending is pretty decent.
The Eye has its moments, and gets better in the final act, but it is still an unoriginal and uninteresting horror film that relies on cheap thrills and a forgettable plot. At least Ms. Alba looks good.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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