No fright in sight for awful ‘Eye’

josh.snyder

I feel really bad for Jessica Alba. She’s certainly not a great actress, but she isn’t a terrible one either. And she keeps her very public life under control, being a positive role model in a world filled with drunken celebrities making fools of themselves. But no one, especially a seemingly good person, deserves the punishment of starring in a film as utterly terrible as “The Eye.” Directed by David Moreau and Xavier Palud, “The Eye” is the latest attempt to revive Asian-influenced horror films. But instead of breathing new life into the genre, “The Eye” kills it.
Adapted from a Chinese horror film of the same name, “The Eye” is the story of violinist Sydney Wells (Alba) who was blinded as a child after her sister threw a firecracker in her face. Unfortunately, we do not get to see this, which may have made the movie much better. If that seems a bit ridiculous, it’s nothing compared to what happens when Wells receives a cornea transplant. She starts to see dead people, a highly unoriginal concept that has been done a million times since “The Sixth Sense.” Trying to understand why she’s having these strange visions, Wells begins to unravel the mystery behind her donor and her new set of eyes.
Obviously, “The Eye” has very little in terms of story. What little there is winds up both pathetic and predictable. You’ve seen “The Eye” before, and I guarantee it was done better than this. The movie crams just about every tired, cliché premise you can think of into its 97 minute runtime. If this is a representation of horror as a whole, the genre has hit a new low.
Going into this film, I assumed a couple things. First, I figured that, being a horror film, it would actually have some thrills or tension. Second, I expected the imagery would be especially twisted and chilling. But “The Eye” does neither. There was one pitiful attempt to scare the audience in the entire film and it was given away in the trailer, severely decreasing its impact. And the visuals were awful. The ghosts were much more comical than scary, the hallucinations boring and annoying.
Besides having a terrible story, “The Eye” just might have the laziest, most apathetic cast and crew ever. It’s very apparent that no one cared about this project in the slightest. The set design was boring and the cinematography felt amateur, two aspects that can really enhance a horror film. The music sounds like something a random crew member threw together in a single night with the hopes that it would distract viewers from hearing the pain in Alba’s voice as she read off the horrendous script.
But the single worst aspect of the film is actor Alessandro Nivola, who plays Dr. Paul Faulkner. His performance easily rivals those found in last year’s “Dragon Wars” as one of the worst ever filmed. His role was so terrible that I actually began to get angry, not because of the character’s actions, but because Nivola is the worst actor I think I’ve ever seen.
Just like the film’s crew, I too felt apathetic as I left the theater. I wasn’t enraged, nor was I depressed about spending the money and time on this colossal failure. I simply walked to my car and drove home. But people go to films to feel something, whether it’s to be entertained or intellectually engaged. The worse thing a film could do is make you feel nothing and “The Eye” accomplishes this better than any film I’ve seen in years, perhaps ever.