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Still shot from the movie: The Eye.

The Eye

Sydney Wells (Jessica Alba), who has been blind since childhood, undergoes an experimental transplant operation in the hopes of regaining her sight. However, the young woman fears the surgery may have worked too well, when she begins to see shadowy images she suspects are part of the supernatural world. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: C
Violence: C-
Sexual Content: B-
Language: B-
Drugs/Alcohol: B
Run Time: 98
Theater Release: 31 Jan 2008
Video Release: 02 Jun 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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Yet another "I can see dead people" horror movie, The Eye pits its young female protagonist (perhaps if men were better screamers, they would get more leads in this genre) against death itself.

Sydney Wells (Jessica Alba), an accomplished violinist, has been blind since a firecracker accident when she was five. Looking like she has a serious case of cataracts (one of many medical blunders in this film), she nervously awaits her surgery date, hopeful that her sight will be restored. But the blurred images she initially sees after having the bandages removed are not filled with the beauty she has been dreaming of for the past two decades.

The problems begin in the middle of the first night of her lengthy hospital stay (she must have excellent insurance coverage) when she sees what appears to be her incapacitated elderly roommate heading out the door. Running after her, she discovers a dark menacing figure escorting the lady down the deserted hall (this hospital seems to have a serious lack of help on the night shift). This strange aberration is followed by other horrific dreams such as mirages of her bedroom morphing into an adobe home, a fire and "ghosts." (One of these phantoms likes riding the elevator in an apartment building, while another is an anxious child concerned about losing his report card).

Desperate for help, she turns to Dr. Paul Faulkner (Alessandro Nivola) a therapist who specializes in helping people who have had their sight restored (definitely a niche market). His solution is to repeatedly tell her she's seeing things that are not real. But Sydney believes the images are part of the life experiences of the deceased cornea donor. And she's convinced there is a message she is supposed to be receiving through all of this.

Aimed at the usual horror movie demographic (teens through twenties), this remake of an Asian film will hold issues of concern for parents -- the greatest being characters preparing to and committing suicide (one by hanging, another by jumping from a high-rise window). Amidst the frequent jump scenes there are also depictions of people on fire, bleeding, and screaming for help. About a half-dozen mild and moderate profanities are included. Sexual content consists of a momentary (and needless) view through obscured glass of Alba in the shower.

With heavy doses of scary music, squeaky doors and haunting winds, this thriller doesn't stray far off this genre's beaten path. And with the horrific "escorts" sent to take dying people away, the movie does nothing to promote death as being a spiritual or peaceful experience. That leaves little reason to encourage your teens to open The Eye and see what's inside.

The Eye is rated PG-13: for violence/terror and disturbing content

Cast: Jessica Alba, Parker Posey, Alessandro Nivola
Studio: Lions Gate Films/ Maple Pictures

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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