The Eye (2008)
Directed by: David Moreau, Xavier Palud
Written by: Danny Pang, Oxide Pang Chun, Sebastian Gutierrez, Yuet-Jan Hui
Starring: Alessandro Nivola, Chloë Grace Moretz, Jessica Alba, Parker Posey
THE EYE (2008)
Directed by David Moreau and Xavier Palud
Blind since the age of 5 after an accident, Sydney Wells (Jessica Alba) finally receives her appointment for a cornea transplant. After the surgery is seemingly successful, it takes Sydney a little while to get accustomed to sight and seeing everything for the first time in a very long time. Her vision after the transplant starts off blurry and whilst she can’t see things clearly, Sydney begins to see strange shadows wherever she goes and her apartment appears to change appearance in front of her eyes. She even has vivid nightmares of a fire and begins to see strange people who aren’t there. Could she be cracking up or could her disturbing visions be something more?
American remake of the Chinese film of the same name (also known as Gin Gwai), THE EYE is a supernatural thriller that plays on the idea that recipients of donor organs can sometimes experience memories or habits of the person they once belonged to, except in this case, lead character Sydney is not sure what she’s seeing is completely of this Earth.
Jessica Alba stars as Sydney Wells. Her life as a young blind woman seems to be quite successful. She’s a concert violinist and manages to lead a perfectly normal life using her other senses to make up for her lack of vision. After the transplant, she becomes a shell of her former self as she’s overwhelmed by the new sights she’s seeing for the first time. It doesn’t help that she’s also seeing intimidating shadows and tormented souls throughout her apartment complex and even in the company of others. Is she going mad? Her eye doctor Paul Faulkner (Alessandro Nivola, who starred as Pollux Troy in Face/Off) thinks she may be suffering from stress and struggling to adjust to her new vision but could her disturbing visions be actually connected to the donor?
Like most recent big budget American horrors, especially remakes starring big names, The Eye lacks real horror and resorts to jump scares with J-horror style close-ups. Away from that though, the way in which the story is told is quite eerie and could have been taken in various directions but it ends up turning into something more akin to Final Destination by the end of the movie. This isn’t enough to make the film a solid horror entry and verges more into the supernatural drama genre.
Keeping the movie afloat is a fine lead in the shape of Jessica Alba who’s quite endearing as Sydney. It’s just a shame her character isn’t given much depth to work other than to play the afflicted. Even her relationships with other people aren’t explored as much as they could be and are only there to serve the simplest of purposes.
Overall, The Eye is a basic horror thriller, nothing more.