The Eye (2008) Review
Written by: Goon
When I was first introduced to Asian cinema there wasn't too much that you could actually see. Most of it was either a blind buy of a bootleg DVD or renting The Eye. At the time I was getting into Asian cinema The Ring remake hadn't even hit the scene yet so it wasn't even all the rage yet. But one of the films that I did manage to get my hands on very soon was Danny and Oxide Pangs The Eye. It is hands down one of the best Asian films you will ever see. Top 5 on all Asian horror fans lists for sure. So I really knew even before going to see this movie that it was going to be bad. I had some how managed however to psyche myself out and think that the beauty of Jessica Alba was going to make this one bearable. But somehow they even managed to not have that working for them either.
Before I get into specifics let me tell you the basic story of the film. Jessica Alba plays Sydney Wells an excellent violinist who just so happens to also be blind. She has been that way since an accident that she had with her sister played by Parker Posey. Everyday is a new adventure for her as you see her traveling the streets and gliding through the streets with no effort whatsoever. Her senses are supposedly so keen she can even save a punk skateboarder from getting hit by a bus.
"I didn't even see that coming."
"Neither did I."
Yup direct quotes from the film and I am telling you it just gets worse. Sydney's sister still feels the guilt of blinding her sister so she has been trying to get her a cornea transplant for quite some time. Finally the day comes and immediately things begin to look not so good. Something is wrong with the eyes she receives and somehow she can see things she is not supposed to see. In order to find out what is happening to her she enrolls the help of a specialist to find her donor. More cringing dialogue continues and telegraphed scares follow.
The first five minutes into this movie I knew I was not going to like it. The "reaper" is revealed within the first moments of the film and you even get to see him on screen for quite some time. Unfortunately that's just about how all the scares are generated. Well maybe I shouldn't call them scares because quite frankly they are not scary. Every single one is telegraphed. I do have to say that there is one good scare in the film and for those who have seen the original it is the Calligraphy scene. Only they have changed it to fit our culture of course.
I do have to say that I do feel a little bad for the directors David Moreau and Xavier Palud. A lot of remakes of other Asian films have already stolen plenty of intense scenes from the original The Eye so they had to do something else. They were also the victim of having to direct one of the worst scripts I have seen in a long time. Sebastian Gutierrez is not exactly a top tier writer having done Rise and SOAP before this film his best is not exactly writing dialogue.
Another problem that I found with this film was that it was VERY safe. There is never a moment in the film where you feel like these directors are not afraid to do anything. They always would put the scare right in front of you so you could see it and then it happened. Even the ending is one of the typical endings that Hollywood would cook up. I guess its safe to say that this is one of those films that is made just to make cash. Not to retell the story in great detail or try something different with the story. They just wanted to see a return.
Ultimately not even one of the most sexiest women in Hollywood could make this film tolerable. Believe me when I give a movie a bad review, you better believe it is awful because I am a pretty friendly reviewer. The only good thing I got out of seeing this is that I definitely have a film to put on my "Worst of 2008" list. - Luke Franklin