Jessica Alba stars as a blind concert violinist who becomes haunted by terrifying supernatural visions once a corneal transplant restores her sight in yet another Asian horror remake, this time inspired by the 2002 film directed by Hong Kong-based filmmakers Danny and Oxide Pang.
But while this English language version of The Eye does contain some disturbing imagery early on and plays well on the fear of blindness, it also sticks too closely to formula and brings no new focus to the genre. Co-directors David Moreau and Xavier Palud opt for camera trickery over genuine scares and cannot see their way to delivering an ending that’s anything but contrived.
Alba, to be fair, delivers one of her better performances as Sydney Wells and was clearly committed to the role, having studied blindness extensively and taken up violin training for six months. But she’s hindered by a screenplay that hits too many false notes and a supporting cast that includes Alessandro Nivola and Parker Posey, who simply go through the motions. The biggest problem with The Eye, however, is that it’s symptomatic of Hollywood’s short sighted policy with regard to the horror market in general. It’s time to sound the death knell for this remake culture.
General release from Fri 25 Apr.