The Eye

I've seen worse.

Released in 2008, certified UK-15. Reviewed on 03 Nov 2008 by Scott Morris
The Eye image

The Eye sees (ho ho!) directorial duo David Moreau and Xavier Palud strap themselves to the ever popular 'Asian Horror Remake' rocket and propel themselves in the general direction of the best named directors working today, Danny and Oxide Pang's original well regarded 2002 effort.

Sydney Wells (Jessica Alba) is blind, which is a pain, but soon receives donor corneas enabling her to see, which is nice. However, it soon becomes apparent that Sydney is seeing weird shit start a'happening, like Vanilla Ice tying to rap again. Well, that and freaky apparitions and dead people and whatnot. While her doctor is rather keen to write this off as a maladjustment of a brain not used to filtering reality, for reasons that escape me he agrees to Sydney's plans to find out who the donor for her crazy eyeballs was and see if they can't get to the bottom of what these recurring nightmarish visions portend.

There's a very specialised subgenre of this sort of 'transplant horror' that's been around about as long as transplantation has, and in this case it dovetails with the investigation element that's commonly found is recent Asian horrors since, and let's give it the obligatory mention now and get it out of the way, The Ring.

The Eye image

Now then, it's not following the usual teen oriented horror traditions of throwing loud noises and buckets of blood at you, instead going for a somewhat more refined approach of creeping vicarious concern that a part of your body is working against you, seeking your downfall, as well as from some well realised effects as Sydney's visions encroach more and more on reality.

There's nothing wrong with that approach, and indeed I applaud it wholeheartedly. However it does demand a fairly large amount of the star called upon to carry this through. While the excellent Naomi Watts was capable of this in the Western redux of The Ring, Jessica Alba doesn't quite have the chops to convince that she's in the grip of either real horror or real danger. However, she does well enough to at least hold my interest in the investigatory elements of the piece and I can't deny that she's a pretty thing to behold.

So, it's a decent enough film, if not one I'm going to advise you to rush out and see. Given the state of the horror genre these days, that practically makes it the most highly regarded horror of the year. Of course, now as so often happens these days we are left with the question of whether or not a remake was particularly necessary. It's not too much of a stretch to say that, language and layer of gloss aside, this is essentially the same film as the six year old original and this new version doesn't actually improve on the original. However I suppose if it wasn't for remakes and films based on comic books we'd never be able to fill all the screens on a multiplex, so I suppose we'll just have to wait for every halfway worthwhile corpse of a film has been reanimated until we can see something a shade more novel.

Were I in the business of passing quantifiable judgements, I'd award this 3/5 TippyMarks.

David Moreau
Xavier Palud
Cast list:
Jessica Alba (Sydney Wells)
Alessandro Nivola (Dr. Paul Faulkner)
Parker Posey (Helen Wells)