The Eye (PG-13)

Drama 97 February 1st, 2008
By Jim Ridley
Ever had a premonition of imminent catastrophe, only to watch helplessly as the worst unfolded? You have if you saw the previews for this snoozer of a paranormal shocker and bought a ticket anyway. Adapted from a derivative Pang brothers thriller — a UK-Hong Kong-Singapore co-production helpfully identified here in the credits as a "Chinese-language" film, lest it be mistaken for one of the late-’90s Japanese horror films it was ripping off — the film uses a virtually identical setup. A blind concert violinist (Jessica Alba) gets a cornea transplant and is suddenly privy to visions of the recently (or is it imminently?) deceased. From there, as directed by French horror hommes David Moreau and Xavier Palud (Them), the entire movie is an object lesson in diminishing returns: nagging shock cuts and blaring sound cues used as indiscriminately as joy buzzers; "look out behind you!" scares that wouldn’t make a Cub Scout flinch; and a blurry visual scheme that was far more terrifying in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, where it sought empathy rather than empty sensation. The vulnerability of eyes is normally one of horror's most reliable tropes; this packs all the ocular thrills of a three-hour wait at LensCrafters. Advice to cornea-transplant candidates: If your donor has watched this, politely say, "Next."
David Moreau, Xavier Palud Jessica Alba, Alessandro Nivola, Parker Posey, Rade Serbedzija, Fernanda Romero, Rachel Ticotin, Obba Babatunde, Danny Mora, Chloë Grace Moretz, Brett A. Haworth Sebastian Gutierrez, Hillary Seitz Tom Cruise, Paula Wagner Lionsgate Films