Why god must you do this? Why does Hollywood in all its limited wisdom try to remake any and everything with the hopes that it will be good, when it just winds up becoming another EPIC FAIL? They’ve done it with The Grudge, they’ve done it with The Eye, and now I hear they might be remaking Oldboy and The Host. We’re coming up on sacred cow territory here, and quite frankly, I don’t know why these films have to be “Americanized” to appeal to the unwashed masses; I thought the whole point of them was to be appreciated on their own merits. But sure enough, the horror film genre is guilty of cannibalizing product like anyone else. See what I did there?
Moving on, The Eye is based on the 2002 Hong Kong film Gin gwai, but Tom Cruise’s CW Production studio bought the American rights, and Sebastian Gutierrez (Snakes on a Plane) adapted the screenplay for American audiences, in a film that David Moreau and Xavier Palud (Them) directed. Sydney Wells (Jessica Alba, The Love Guru) is a classically trained violinist who has been blind most of her life. Upon receiving a corneal transplant (the eyes people, work with me here), she starts to see visions that shock and terrify her. Her sister Helen (Parker Posey, Best In Show) doesn’t know what to do for her, and her doctor (Alessandro Nivola, Grace is Gone) thinks she’s crazy, even though she walks around with strange markings on her hands and arms. So she tries to find out where her donor eyes came from, and the person who had them before saw unimaginable horror, and those visions are transferred to Sydney.
I almost forgot for a second, while The Eye is a remake, let’s not forget what started this type of film in the first place, which I believe is the 1981 Oliver Stone film The Hand, which Michael Caine starred in and whose premise is eerily similar, except for the hand instead of the eyes part and all. But this movie seems to not do a lot in a few different areas; first, why is Alba at the front of the cast? Her acting is wooden, and she’s playing a character that isn’t believable; one that’s actually, you know, smart. And while we go through this whole ordeal, we remember and take comfort in the fact that the film is only 97 minutes. So all the jarring sound effects and poor direction in the world is only going to be temporary.
Dolby Digital 5.1 EX sound for you, which is kind of paramount since the main character is dealing with not being able to see and all for the bulk of the film. Surround use is pretty extensive, as well as subwoofer engagement, so considering the work the soundtrack has to do, it does it capably.
The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation isn’t bad either. Film grain through most of the image keeps it looking natural, and despite some edge enhancement and crushed blacks, the picture looks good most of the time. The film wound up looking better than I was expecting.
(Both for the sake of avoiding redundancy and just my general laziness, Jamie Shuhyta’s Blu-ray review of the extras has been used here, as the extras are the same on the SD as on the BD. Feel free to check out the entire review at intotheblu.com.)
“Overall the specials are ok, but nothing ground breaking or inventive.
• Featurette: “Becoming Sydney” – It explains the process Jessica Alba underwent to prepare for the role, including working with the blind and playing the violin.
• Featurette: “Birth of The Shadowman” – A look at the film’s main ghost.
• Featurette: “The Eye: The Explosive Grand Finale” – A look at the set up and filming of the end of the movie.
• Featurette: “Shadow World: Seeing the Dead” – A very cheesy attempt to make us believe that this film is a real life account, and that seeing visions after eye surgeries are common????
• Deleted Scenes – Eight scenes not shown in the film, in nothing all that great.”
There’s also a digital copy of the film on the second disc for your iPod or other portable device.
Don’t bother with The Eye. You’re young, you’ve got your whole life ahead of you. Go watch the original and see that the horror there feels more genuine and not so sanitized. All the nice technical qualities and digital copies in the world aren’t going to take away from the fact that this is a poor remake and should be avoided at all costs.