You’d think that a horror story concerned with the unreliability of sight might at least try to generate scares via the use of visual trickery. In the case of The Eye, however, you’d be wrong, since aside from one mildly deceptive scene set in a Chinese restaurant, there’s zero aesthetic or narrative surprise to David Moreau and Xavier Palud’s remake of the Pang brothers’ 2003 snoozer about a blind woman who undergoes successful cornea transplant surgery and then finds herself beset by otherworldly visions. After her operation, violinist Sydney (Jessica Alba) begins seeing faceless specters escort unhappy ghosts into the afterlife, rooms morph into other rooms, and a different face than her own appear in the mirror. Naturally, her eyes are to blame, but before the film can get to Sydney’s inquiry into the origins of her new organs, it first feels obligated to fake interest in her period of sensory adjustment, which is lethargically dramatized to the point that suspenseful momentum never arises. As with its source material, The Eye hybridizes The Sixth Sense with the cheesy Jeff Fahey-headlined Body Parts, yet derivation isn’t the problem, but the wholesale absence of tension. After freaking out her sister (Parker Posey, on-screen for no more than five minutes) and an orchestra conductor (Rade Serbedzija) with wacky behavior, Sydney enlists investigative aid from her ocular specialist Paul (Alessandro Nivola) by telling him that her hallucinations have a scientific basis: peptides! It’s a real-world explanation for her paranormal condition that’s as pitifully tossed off as Paul’s motivation for joining Sydney on a sleuthing mission to Mexico, which appears to be driven less by a sincere belief in her claims than by a horny desire to stay in close proximity to his sexy patient. Unfortunately, while Alba is striking enough to warrant such attention, she can’t deliver a line captivatingly, and the film is scripted so mundanely that it ultimately would have been better off mimicking the storytelling approach (and runtime) of its dialogue-free, music video-ish teaser trailer.
- 97 min
- David Moreau, Xavier Palud
- Sebastian Gutierrez
- Jessica Alba, Alessandro Nivola, Parker Posey, Rade Serbedzija, Fernanda Romero, Rachel Ticotin
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