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.
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!