Underrated Horror Movie of the Month: THE EYE

Hello, horror lovers! Welcome to another edition of Underrated Horror Movie of the Month. If you are new to the column, here is a brief explanation. Every month, on the second and fourth Fridays, I talk about horror movies that I think are underrated and underloved. The films can be from any subgenre, any timeframe and originate from anywhere in the world. In this edition, I am talking about a 2008 supernatural film, The Eye. Stick around to find out why I think this movie deserves more love.

About The Eye

Sydney Wells (Jessica Alba) lost her sight in a terrible accident at only five years old. Since then, she has learned to “see” the world through her other senses. However, in an effort to regain her vision, Sydney agrees to a cornea transplant. After the surgery, everything takes a weird turn when Sydney begins to see strange and terrifying visions. With help from her doctor, she sets out to track down the person who donated her new eyes. Can Sydney get to the root of what is happening to her before tragedy strikes?

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The Eye stars Jessica Alba, Alessandro Nivola, Parker Posey, Chloë Grace Moretz, Rade Serbedzija, Fernanda Romero and Rachel Ticotin. Yuet-Jan Hui and Oxide Chun Pang wrote the screenplay for the 2002 Jian Gui (The Eye) from Hong Kong, on which this movie is based. Sebastian Gutierrez wrote this film’s script. David Moreau and Xavier Palud directed the movie.

A close up of a blue eye.

This film has a 22 percent Tomatometer rating and a 43 percent Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Fun Fact: This is an American remake of a Hong Kong horror titled Jian Gui.

My Thoughts

Because The Eye is a remake, it is impossible for anyone who has seen both versions not to compare and contrast. Sadly, I have not seen Jian Gui due to not being able to procure a copy of the film. While I would love to get the chance to see the source material, having not seen it means I went into this movie with no preconceived notions

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As always, I took a stroll through online reviews so I could discuss the main concerns viewers have with the film. One of the biggest complaints came from comparing it to its predecessor. This type of issue is something that happens with every horror remake. The way I see it, there is no way for any remake to live up to the original; however, that does not mean it is not a good movie in its own right.

Sydney tries to see something in her eye by pulling the lids apart.

Another frequently repeated issue is calling The Eye boring and uneventful. I have a lot of thoughts on this one. This movie is not a blood-and-guts type, and it is not the “jump scare around every corner” type. It is, however, a subtle kind of horror. The suspense builds because the things she sees are not typical ghosts, and she never knows if the person, place or situation is substantial or spirit. Her dreams immerse Sydney in deadly circumstances that are not her own experiences, yet she feels them nonetheless. Imagine choking on smoke from a fire that happened to someone else. Consider walking down the street and passing a frightened young woman only to look over and see that she is actually the now-deceased victim of being struck by a vehicle.

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Moving on from review comments, I want to talk about Jessica Alba. Her performance in this movie is stunning. She nails the character nuances and provides an incredible experience. Along the same line of think comes my one complaint;  Doctor Paul. He was supposed to be Sydney’s love interest, but there was no chemistry between the two. Of course, this was likely compounded by the horrible tropes heaped upon the character. He thought Sydney to be crazy, didn’t believe her until it was almost too late, and made her feel poorly about herself. He came across as a total ass.

Finally, the effects. The Shadowman appeared wispy and almost smoke-like. The fire crackled and whipped and devoured anything in its path. I am overall, quite pleased with the effects.

Final Thoughts

While The Eye may not be on the same level as its source material, it is a creepy supernatural story that I highly recommend. It is available to stream on HBO Max and the Roku Channel for anyone interested in giving it a chance.

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There you have, horror lovers, another underrated horror in the books! Have you seen this one? Let me know in the comments! Also, let me know which movie you think I should feature next. Until next time, enjoy the trailer for The Eye below.

Stay spooky and watch more horror movies!

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Becca Stalnaker
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