FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE...beware yon spoilers!

Jan 24, 2008

eye shmeye

Once upon a time, I saw The Eye. I then tried to write a review and found that I simply...couldn't...do it. Nothing positive came to mind, nothing negative came to mind; in fact, just a bunch of nothing came to mind. Usually I find I have something to say about a film, but in this instance I couldn't muster much more than "Well, I saw it."

A couple of days ago I caught a screening of the American remake starring Jessica Alba as the violinist who, upon receiving dual corneal transplants, sees dead people. I had largely the same reaction I had to the 2002 Hong Kong version: "Well, I saw it." This time, however, I think I can at least put my finger on why the movie most people seem to find oh so scary doesn't do it for me.

The secret ingredient in any delicious roast is YELLING.

See, there's no sense of urgency or danger during the film. Yeah, Sydney (Alba) sees ghosts. But...they don't threaten her or anyone she loves. They don't hurt her. They don't really do much of anything except freak her out- which works, maybe, three times for the audience. Essentially The Eye is 80 minutes of jump scares and then, once Sydney figures out what's going on, there are ten decent minutes of action and plot.

In The Ring and Ju-on, for example, you really don't want to see ghosts because the ghosts want to kick your ass dead. In The Eye, the ghosts simply hang out. The first time a dead boy asks if you've seen his report card, it's creepy. The fifth time he asks, it's fucking annoying.

The last ten minutes of the film, when Sydney deduces that her 'curse' actually allows her to see the future and so she goes about attempting to prevent death and destruction has been done before to much greater effect in films such as The Dead Zone and Final Destination. Here, I find it's too little, too late.

As best as I can remember from the original, this remake seems to be almost a carbon copy with the exception of those last ten minutes. Jessica Alba is serviceable as Sydney, I guess, but her character is so underdeveloped that a pretty sock puppet would probably be equally as serviceable. In fact, the whole affair is serviceable...yet ultimately forgettable. While the original version didn't thrill me, it did have a bit more gusto- but there's no surprise there.

I've seen you twice now, The Eye, and we just didn't hit it off. It's not you, it's me...other people seem to think you're lovely, and I'm sure you'll have plenty of suitors when you open on February 1. Sorry, though, babe- this bird's gotta fly. You get no strike three with me!

20 comments:

Chris said...

Whatever you do, stay away from the original's sequel, it was awful awful awful.

ladracul said...

Hmm, good thing I'm planning to see "Meet the Spartans" next week...this doesn't sound all too good.

The Mad Hatter said...

I'm off work tomorrow, so today is like Friday to me. So much like Friday that I came here looking for awesome posters. None to be found, just a semi review of a sucky remake of a movie that sucks. Then I realized that today is actually still Thursday. This is not a horror movie, but if you are into asian chicks who kick ass... http://www.youtube.com/v/WKw5pmI48EM

Bill Walsh said...

Oh, come on, stupid screenwriters. Don't you know the key to this genre is, All of a sudden, she could see them...and they saw her back!

Geez, Lovecraft got that right in the '30s or whenever he wrote "Cool Air." Sheesh. In the words of Handy, "READ A BOOK!"

Anonymous said...

jessica alba = overrated
eyes = overrated
knowing that there will be a sequel straight to video that will probably be better = priceless

silver lining maybe?

David DeMarco said...

Here's what's problematic for me: the movie is called The Eye, but Jessica Alba receives DUAL corneal transplants. Shouldn't the movie be called 'The Eyes' or just 'Eyes'?

I'm thinking there's a whole sub-genre of horror here, the weird transplant. Of course you'll have the story revolving around the occasional murder's legs or hands, but what other horrors lurk in the transplant ward?..."Dear God, all I can hear is the roar of a chainsaw...THESE ARE THE EARS OF A LUMBERJACK!"

Honestly, I'm kind of sick of ghosts at the moment. I like my horror to have rules--shoot zombies in the head, vampires have to be invited into your home, silver kills werewolves, etc. Ghosts have no rules--unless you have a proton pack--and to me that's boring. Characters stumble around until they bumble onto the ghost's 'mission' or some crap, fix the problem and then everything is fine again, until the last five minutes when it turns out the ghost is still pissed.

Eye shmeye indeed.

Queen Anthai said...

Coulda been worse.

You could have seen One Missed Call.

Snarf said...

David: ""Dear God, all I can hear is the roar of a chainsaw...THESE ARE THE EARS OF A LUMBERJACK!" ".. That's funny!

I reminds me of an idea I have for a movie called THE THIRD SENSE, with the tagline "I smell dead people"

Old Dark Housekeeper said...

I hope that they're not blue eye transplants, because seriously... Alba looks pretty funky with blue eyes.

Joseph Emmerth said...

"It's not you; it's me..." (snicker)

+2 to Dave for his semantic deduction

+4 for the lumberjack thing, I just spit up some coffee...all over someone else's shoes:)

Theron said...

I'm sorry y'all could see eye to eye. It's best you just walk away and not look back.

Theron said...

errr..."could NOT..."

(SEE how clever I am? I can't even get my own jokes right.)

JA said...

I thought the original The Eye was okay, but mostly because of the last ten minutes or so where shit happens; that's all I remember of the movie, to be honest.

But I kind of want to see this remake just because I HAVE TO KNOW WHAT IS IN JESSICA ALBA'S OVEN (no, that most assuredly not a euphemism). WTF is making her scream into her oven like that? I mean, is it filled with THE MUFFINS FROM HELL???

Stacie Ponder said...

You DO find out what the deal is with the oven, but it still doesn't make that photo any less retarded.

JB said...

I actually like the Eye 2 better. In that one you get creepy scenes of ghosts diving headfirst into pregnant women's va-jabba-jabba-dos. That's kinda creepy. And it had a twisty ending thing that tied everything up.

David Lee said...

Not to nitpick (OK, I'm lying) but the Lovecraft story you mean is probably "From Beyond" rather than "Cool Air".

Pierce said...

I've been trying to convince my friend and his wife that "The Eye" is just going to be meh but they don't listen to me. Maybe they'll believe you.

On a side note I think I've just be inadvertently convinced to give "The Ring" and "Ju-On." I wasn't so into them the first time I saw them. But I've been wrong before and it's been a while. It was "you really don't want to see ghosts because the ghosts want to kick your ass dead." that got me.

Score one more for Stacie's subliminal mind control!

Stacie Ponder said...

Pierce, I admire your willingness to give movies a second chance. Really- a lot of people don't do that, so kudos!

The first time I saw Ju-On, it didn't blow me away, but the second time it did. A lot.

Pierce said...

When it all comes down to it my hope for all movies is that they leave me with a good memory not a disappointment. Sometimes that means a second chance is needed.

Pierce said...

Ok just got done watching Ju-On. You were right, much much better on the second viewing.

Now I just wish I could pinpoint why it impressed me so much less the first time around.