The Eye (2008) Starring Jessica Alba, Allesandro Nivola and Parkey Posey.
Honestly, I knew so little about this film going in, other than from publicity. I honestly had no idea it was a Asian ripoff. I kept wondering if it was a remake of the soft-core porn/horror film from the late-90s that Cinemax used to show in perpetuity. You know, the one with the giant eyeball and the erotic tentacle? After all, with the cosmetically perfect Jennifer Alba as violinist Sydney Wells, the possibilities could be endless!
However, The Eye is a remake of a 2002 HK-horror directed by the Pang Brothers. You know them, right? It's okay, I didn't either. I discovered it was a remake on the DVD, as I saw the trailer for the Hong Kong version of The Eye 2, directed by the . . Pang Brothers. Great, this is what I'm in for. I thought I was just watching another crappy PG-13 horror flick. Now I have entered a world of pain.
To tell the truth, this film isn't terrible. Parker Posey is decent as Wells' sister, and she's terrible in everything. Allessandro Nivola (aka Pollux Troy from Face Off) throws in a solid performance as Wells' doctor.
The plot is intriguing enough. It can of builds off of the same premise as shown in movies such as Body Parts with Jeff Fahey, relating mainly to the notion that transplanted body parts retain something from the previous owner. In this case, Wells' visual impairment is cured by a corneal transplant. After the surgery takes and Wells' begins to use her new eyes to their fullest extent, she discovers she can see more than the average person with 20-20. She is plagued with repeat images of a girl in a fire and witnesses ghosts hiding behind random corners. Throughout the rest of the film, Wells embarks on an odyssey to discover the origin of the transplant. This leads her to Mexico City, where the climax of the film emerges. Alba's portrayal of Wells is, heh, "well" preprared. She spent time working with some folks in a school for the blind down in New Mexico prior to filming. Right to the unfortunate end with Wells losing her eyesight again, she really portrays a character whose struggle the viewer can relate. I also want to applaud French directors David Moreau and Xavier Palud for attempting to make something suspenseful without being completely boring.
Unfortunately, I can't bring myself say any nicer things about this film. I mean, when we discover that the images of the fire witnessed by Wells are a future prediction, you're left with a feeling of, "Huh? Well how about that, lets get to the credits." It's not a poor film, but other than the acting, this movie fails to leave the viewer with anything that cements it in the conscious for the long haul. The characters work step-by-step follow a course that feels very procedural instead of allowing random circumstances to alter the narrative. Had the story been mixed up a little bit more and had some more beef broth thrown in for flavor, this would be one of the better horror films of the last decade. Instead, it falls more in the area of remakes like 1996's Diabolique, where the film is underrated in many areas but still doesn't quite deliver.