Jessica Alba, Parker Posey, Alessandro Nivola
David Moreau, Xavier Palud
Sebastian Gutierrez, Ryne Douglas Pearson
There is only one reason to see "The Eye," the most recent in a growing line of Asian horror remakes.
Alessandro Nivola, the underrated supporting actor who was so marvelous in "Junebug?"
Wait, it must be Parker Posey, indie queen extraordinaire.
Amazingly enough, nope. Posey is, astonishingly enough, sleepwalking through her performance here.
The only reason to see "The Eye" is...are you ready?
Who'd have thunk it?
In "The Eye," the always perkily adorable Alba plays Sydney Wells, a good-hearted and gift concert violinist who has lived with being blind since the age of five. Her sister, Helen (Parker Posey), rightfully carries guilt over her sister's blindness and has long had a desire to support her sister in all ways possible. Despite the fact that Sydney is well-adjusted and largely happy, Helen arranges for Sydney to receive a corneal transplant.
Of course, nothing goes as planned and post-surgery Sydney gains far more than her sight back when haunting "visions" begin to infiltrate her everyday life.
Occasionally a touch anxiety-inducing, "The Eye" is a remake of the Pang Brothers' 2002 flick by the same name. While the Pang version was stylish yet inconsistent, this version, directed by European filmmakers David Moreau and Xavier Palud, is primarily moody with occasional fits of spastic chills thrown in.
Frightening? Not in the least.
Suspenseful? Perhaps, but only if you've never seen a horror film before...ever.
While it seems that casting a beautiful American actress is essential to any Asian horror remake, the casting of Alba makes little sense here. Having proven time and again that her primary acting talent consists of accidentally losing an article of clothing and feigning surprise, Alba is alone at sea in a film that seldom makes sense, builds up unsatisfying moments of suspense, utilizes a musical score to foretell nearly every moment happy or sad and that is filled with such dull performances that Alba truly is the only positive feature of the film.
By the time "The Eye" moves down to Mexico so that Sydney can chase down the truth about the "visions" she experiences, "The Eye" has already blinded its audience with a plodding, numbing musical score from Marco Beltrami ("3:10 to Yuma") and cinematograpy by Jeff Jur ("My Big Fat Greek Wedding") that is so sledgehammer obvious that one needn't have a brain cell to see where it's all going.
Along with Posey's disappointing turn here, Nivola is uncomfortably weak as Sydney's vision therapist. The rest of the supporting cast is irrelevant, as Moreau and Palud emphasize mood over all else and Sebastian Gutierrez's script is remarkably inconsistent with some scenes painfully drawn out while others seem to abruptly cut off.
While not as bad as one might expect given Alba's headlining role, "The Eye" lacks the Pang Brothers' vision and style and quickly downward spirals into a sea of PG-13 horror flick cliche's and an appallingly weak ending devoid of anything resembling originality.
If you're headed out this weekend to see "The Eye," be prepared for the scariest vision of them all...Jessica Alba shines above it all.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic