Reviewed by: David Criswell, Ph.D.
|Featuring:||Jessica Alba, Parker Posey, Alessandro Nivola, Rachel Ticotin, Rade Serbedzija, Chloe Moretz, Tamlyn Tomita, Aaron Paul, Tegan Moss, Kathleen LaGue, François Chau, Girard Swan, Kisha Sierra, [more]|
|Director:||David Moreau, Xavier Palud|
|Producer:||Sarah E. Baker, Peter Block, Peter Chan, Doug Davison, Mike Elliott, Don Granger, Roy Lee, Michelle Manning, Darren Miller, Darren Miller, Jack L. Murray, Michael Paseornek, Paula Wagner|
|Distributor:||Lions Gate Films|
“How can you believe your eyes when they’re not yours?”
Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “Sydney Wells (Jessica Alba) is an accomplished, independent, Los Angeles-based concert violinist. She is also blind, and has been so since a childhood tragedy. As our story opens, Sydney undergoes a double corneal transplant, a surgery she has waited her whole life to have, and her sight is restored. After the surgery, neural ophthalmologist Dr. Paul Faulkner (Alessandro Nivola) helps Sydney with the difficult adjustment, and with the support of her older sister Helen (Parker Posey), Sydney learns to see again.
But Sydney's happiness is short-lived as unexplainable shadowy and frightening images start to haunt her. Are they a passing aftermath of her surgery, Sydney's mind adjusting to sight, a product of her imagination, or something horrifyingly real? As Sydney's family and friends begin to doubt her sanity, Sydney is soon convinced that her anonymous eye donor has somehow opened the door to a terrifying world only she can now see.”
“The Eye” is the most recent in a line of Asian horror remakes. The original Eye is the biggest horror hit ever to come out of Hong Kong and has actually been remade previously in India (skip that one). The new Eye stars Jessica Alba and is, of course, set in America as well as a sidetrip to Mexico.
Now some will immediately scoff at yet another Asian horror remake, and except for “The Ring” and “The Grudge,” most of the J-horror remakes have not endeared themselves to fans. Of course, horror movies usually cater to a specific target audience anyway, so this has not been particularly harmful to the seemingly new genre of horror. In fact, “The Eye” is probably the best since “The Grudge” despite some obvious flaws. Indeed, the very reason that most secular critics despite the Eye is the reason that it had some appeal to me. My local newspaper decried the fact that the Eye had little violence or terror (although ample enough to warrant a PG-13 rating). For the Christian, this may be a good sign, but don't be fooled. It deserves is PG-13 rating and there is plenty of violence and horror for those not used to the slasher genre or Quinten Tarantino films.
The story is about a blind woman who receives corneal transplant to regain her sight. Her new eyes, however, have a strange side effect; they can see the spiritual world. They can see dead people. Yes, “The Eye” was an Asian spin off of M. Night Shayamalan's “Sixth Sense,” but it was original in its presentation. Perhaps in anticipation of critics who would scoff at the similarity to the Sixth Sense there is a scene in the movie in which Alba is mocked for seeing “dead people.” If you can get past this similarity the film is fairly effective. As the film progresses Alba wants to find out to whom her eyes originally belonged. Even when she looks in the mirror she sees not her own face, but the face of the original owner. What happened to her and why is she seeing these horrifying things?
“The Eye” follows the original Hong Kong movie closely with one noticeable difference. The ending of the movie was subtly changed, but that change brought a certain hope and purpose to the film which was lacking in the original. I will not give a spoiler here, except to say that the ending is a little more upbeat and suggest that there is a purpose for what happened to her.
Now purpose aside, the film is clearly eastern in mysticism. There is talk of spirits who are “unable to find rest.” This is a concept directly at odds with the Bible where it is declared that “it is appointed for man to die once, and then comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Spirits do not wander nor get lost. The angels of death in this film are also far different from any Biblical conception and are fearsome and “angry” creatures. The entire premise of the film is, therefore, pagan and at odds with the Biblical worldview. Christianity is absent from the film, although witchcraft and psychic abilities are very evident.
In terms of moral content, “The Eye” was remarkably free from foul language. There were a few exclamations of God, but no foul words that I heard (I may occasionally miss a few) and no sex. Some revealing outfits were apparent throughout the course of the film but no nudity, although in one scene where the rough outline of a woman can be seen through a foggy shower stall. Violence was the reason for the PG-13 rating. The film open with a suicide. We see scenes of people on fire, burned and charred faces, bloody eyes are seen in dream sequences, there is even a glimpse of a man whose face has been ripped off, and a woman is seen thrashing about after hanging herself. The violence is, therefore, entirely inappropriate for any youngsters or children.
Ultimately, “The Eye” will appeal to fans of the J-horror genre. If you have not seen the original Eye, then this film will probably appeal to you even more. In some respects it is inferior to the original, but some ways they improved it. If you are looking for a shock a minute slasher film then stay away, but if you are looking for a moody tense horror film in the J-horror style, then “The Eye” is certainly one of the better remakes, but keep young children and impressionable youngsters away as the film is still pagan and violent.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.