Review: The Eye’ lacks any real vision

Robbed of her sight by a childhood accident, Sydney (Jessica Alba) receives an unexpected boon in the form of a corneal transplant, opening her eyes to a world once shrouded in darkness. She wakes from surgery with a sunny smile and a jolt of optimism, in a scene of such pronounced serenity that one can’t help but sense the undercurrent of disaster. And sure enough, there’s a catch — Sydney’s vision extends beyond the mortal realm, and all around her lurk wandering spirits and the fearsome reapers who usher them into the shadows.

Sydney begins to ask questions, first about her waking nightmares and later about the identity of her donor. She takes to the Internet, where a Google search leads her to the study of cellular memory, defined by Wikipedia as “the hypothesis that memories, habits, interests, and tastes may somehow be stored in all the cells of the human body.” Could her corneas hold some terrible secret? Her therapist (Alessandro Nivola) doesn’t think so. He believes the problem lies not in her eyes but her mind, leaving Sydney quite alone in her struggle to understand why she sees dead people.

Where’s Bruce Willis when you need him?

“The Eye” is the latest American remake of an Eastern import — in this case, Hong Kong’s “Jian Gui” — in which the thrills have been hopelessly squandered in translation, replaced with distracting, rapid-fire camerawork and thunderous bumps in the night that reflect a kind of creative desperation. Like “The Grudge,” it is an exercise in abstract silliness, dimly lit and depressingly drab, a dubious triumph of atmosphere over logic. Still, American audiences should recognize it immediately — the plot borrows liberally from movies like “The Sixth Sense,” “Body Parts” and “Blink,” without appropriating so much as a hint of their style or sophistication.

Credits

The Eye

Starring Jessica Alba, Alessandro Nivola, Parker Posey, Rade Serbedzija, Fernanda Romero

Written by Sebastian Gutierrez

Directed by David Moreau and Xavier Palud

Rated PG-13

Running time 1 hour 37 minutes

artsentertainmentOther Arts

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF moves into purple tier, triggering curfew and business shutdowns

San Francisco moved into the state’s purple COVID-19 tier Saturday, requiring The… Continue reading

San Francisco lacks housing data that would let it track rental vacancies and prices. New legislation is seeking to change that.<ins> (Photo by Joel Angel Jurez/2016 Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Landlords blast proposal to require annual report on rentals as invasion of privacy

Housing inventory could give city better data on housing vacancies, affordability

University of San Francisco head coach Todd Golden coaches his team on defense during a 2019 gameat War Memorial Gymnasium on the campus of the University of San Francisco. (Ryan Gorcey / S.F. Examiner)
Stunner in Bubbleville: USF upsets fourth-ranked Virginia

Less than 48 hours removed from a loss to a feeble UMass… Continue reading

Health care workers would be the first group in the state to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. (Go Nakamura/Getty Images/TNS)
Hope on the way: Here’s what to know about California’s COVID-19 vaccine plan

The first batch of doses could hit the state as soon as early December

The Big Game was played Friday at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley. (Shutterstock)
Stanford blocks extra point to stun Cal, win 123rd Big Game 24-23

The 123rd edition of the Big Game featured a number of firsts.… Continue reading

Most Read