a critiQal film review The Eye (2008)

  • DVD
  • Blu-Ray

Plot: Sydney (Alba), blind since a childhood tragedy, receives double corneal transplants - and suddenly begins seeing unexplainable frightening images. As her friends and family begin to doubt her sanity, she realizes her donor may have given her more than just their eyes - they may have shown her a whole new world.

495 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 28s)

Back when I had my own cornea surgery to repair an eye with keratoconus, I kept joking I should have watched Body Parts – a movie about a man who is given a serial killer’s body part, which then causes untold troubles – just prior to the surgery, just to get my adrenaline going.

So when The Eye came along – about a woman who, after receiving 2 cornea transplant, starts seeing horrific things – it seemed like a must-see for me. After all, having unde3rgone the same surgery – although mine was only for one eye, not both – I could already relate a bit more to the character than Average Joe.

Jessica Alba does a very good job in her starring role in The Eye. While the viewer is used to seeing her in action or comedy roles, she makes the transition to horror thriller quite easily. Her aura of innocence in the film is nearly palpable, making what happens to her hit home for the viewers that much harder.

Too often, horror films are all about the scare, and don’t give the viewer enough time to get the know the character first. Instead, the viewer is focused on the “bad guy” – whoever, or whatever, that may be – essentially making the horror the star of the show.

In The Eye, the viewer is given a sense of Alba’s character Sydney – albeit in broad terms – before the horror starts. Through a couple of quick telling sequences (including a surprising comical violin serenade to her music teacher on his birthday), the viewer is able to get a feel for Alba’s Sydney. A sense of Alba’s character is thus established with the viewer before the horror starts, giving the viewer a bit of a vested interest in the outcome.

As the film progresses, the horror segments do come on a bit fast and furious, so the viewer, while being caught up in the horror aspects, may feel the sequences start blending together a bit. While full of some frightening sequences, this is probably the weakest part of the film, as the viewer tries to make sense of all the shadowy half-screen images that appear on the screen.

As the film nears it’s conclusion, most viewers may guess what the film is leading up to – and they’d be wrong. Just when viewers think the film is over, and the demons have been sated, another sequence occurs that brings the true moral of the film into focus. It’s a nice surprise, as most horror films are utterly predictable.

While you the common viewer may be getting sick of foreign film horror remakes after being inundated with them (, , etc.), The Eye deserves a look even if you haven’t had a cornea transplant.

Thanks to a better-than-average introduction to the main character, played with an honest innocence by Jessica Alba, and an ending that actually manages to surprise, The Eye is definitely worth a look.

1 Comment

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