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The Eye



Jessica Alba discovers in The Eye that her new corneas are showing her the evil that killed their previous owner. This follows her role in Awake, a film about a man who remains conscious through his heart operation. Alba’s unspoken hope that distributors could throw the amputated-hand-horror Idle Hands on the pile and release the three DVDs as The Jessica Alba Botched Surgery Collection is inspired. But it’s no excuse for third-rate entertainment. 

The Eye conforms to the norm of American remakes of Asian horror: Its hushed atmosphere and aggressive ambiguity are flavourless. The good idea behind the Pang Brothers’ Hong Kong original (which, in fairness, takes its premise from the US 1994 thriller, Blink), fits too comfortably into the conventional. Having Alba’s blind-violinist character Sydney witness demonic apparitions once she regains sight taps into the unreasonable fears that come with bettering one’s life. Yet pale ghost-children and slow walks down apartment hallways towards unexplained horrors end up being the standard of all these movies. Directors David Moreau and Xavier Palud won’t risk upsetting their audience and consequently they can’t create a sense of empathy and isolation regarding Sydney’s disability, unlike the traumatic connection created by Jennifer Jason Leigh---playing a blind and deaf teenager---in the 1981 slasher Eyes of a Stranger.

Alba has her good looks, but her limited talent can’t sell some of the mood swings the script throws her way. None of The Eye invokes much dread. Put this one on the waiting list for a personality transplant---for a purported “thriller,” it’s barely even involving.

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