The Eye (2008)

The Eye is the epitome of mediocrity. It's not terrible, but it's certainly not great; it's just there. And pointlessly so, since the original Pang brothers version of the film was better, though The Eye is at least better than other recent Western remakes of Eastern movies like Pulse, because it manages to be coherent. It's just sorely lacking in oomph.

Jessica Alba stars as Sydney, a musician who has been blind since she was involved in an accident at a young age. The wonders of modern technology mean, though, that her vision can be restored using donor corneas. Sydney's efforts to adjust to life with functioning eyes again are vaguely endearing, but she soon realises that something's gone horribly wrong - she can't only see, now, she can see dead people. Dun dun dun!

All the scare scenes are lifted straight out of the original movie, but either because they're old hat now, or because some elements of them have been lost, altered in the process of removing them from their cultural context, they don't work nearly so well. It's not that they're badly executed or anything; they just don't quite have the same effect here. Something that has remained the same, though, is the transition the film makes halfway through from a spooky ghost story into the sort of quest narrative that The Ring and The Grudge succumbed to, as Alba seeks out the family of her organ donor in order to try to find out why she died. In both versions of the movie, this section ends up weaker than the rest of it, because we know full well what the outcome will be; we're just going through the motions.

Without giving away too much, the ending has been slightly altered for the remake, which isn't a terrible idea, but it's also... not great. There's nothing really notable about this film - it manages to take both Jessica Alba, known for not being a particularly skilled actor, and Parker Posey, who is usually much more interesting, and render them both okay, but not especially good. There's no pace to this movie, no urgency; nothing at all to get your pulse racing or to engage your intellect. It's not that it's bad, and I don't have any particularly damning criticisms, it's just that there's nothing to recommend it, either.

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1 comment:

Jon Peacey said..., you're being too kind to it; it was pretty terrible. Didn't seem to know what film it wanted to be and Jessica Alba is a bit... wooden.