Horror review: The Eye



Discerning horror fans may have thought that the Americanization of Asian fright flicks hit rock bottom with last month’s One Missed Call. Things haven’t improved with The Eye, a remake of a Hong Kong shocker about a young woman who undergoes a double corneal transplant and then suffers from supernatural visions. Brothers Danny and Oxide Pang’s unnerving spook show from 2002 has been translated into a clunky, aimless interpretation that leaves you with just one overpowering thought: are Jessica Alba’s lips for real?

Coming off her surprisingly all-right performance as a gold-digging villain in Awake, Alba stars as L.A.–based concert violinist Sydney Wells, who, at the urging of her concerned older sister (Parker Posey), undergoes an operation to regain her sight (which turns her milky-blue peepers to gorgeous brown). But as soon as the protective bandages come off, Sydney starts seeing shadowy images of cranky demon things that appear whenever somebody dies.

Them directors David Moreau and Xavier Palud seem content to hinge their film on thrown-together reenactments from the original, such as a scene in which a ghastly apparition dangles in midair in an elevator corner. Screenwriter Sebastian Gutierrez—whose so-called credits include Snakes on a Plane and the God-awful Gothika—doesn’t even attempt to explain the significance of the little boy who keeps showing up in apartment hallways asking: “Have you seen my homework?”

Having expected that the operation would allow her to view stunning sunsets instead of threatening ghouls, Sydney seeks the help of a neural ophthalmologist (Alessandro Nivola). He’s certain that Sydney’s terrifying visions have nothing to do with the source of her new corneas, but he agrees to accompany her on a 15-hour drive to Mexico to investigate. On the trek back to La La Land, the plot takes a particularly bogus turn, which Alba seems perfectly suited to guide.

Genre fans in search of a decent transplant-gone-awry flick should skip The Eye, stock up on popcorn, and rent Eric Red’s 1991 horror flick, Body Parts, instead. You just don’t get enough of perennial screen weirdo Brad Dourif these days.

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