The Eye (2008 film)

The Eye (2008 film)

Infobox Film
name = The Eye

caption = Promotional poster for "The Eye"
director = David Moreau
Xavier Palud
producer = Peter Chan
Paula Wagner
writer = Original Screenplay:
Jo Jo Yuet-chun Hui
The Pang Brothers
Sebastian Gutierrez
narrator =
starring = Jessica Alba
Parker Posey
Alessandro Nivola
Chloë Moretz
music = Marco Beltrami
cinematography =
editing =
distributor = Lionsgate (USA)
Paramount Vantage (International)
released = USA February 1, 2008
UK April 24, 2008
Australia March 13, 2008
runtime =
country = USA
language = English
budget = $12,000,000
gross = $56,309,766
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id = 1:336356
imdb_id = 0406759

"The Eye" is a 2008 film starring Jessica Alba. It is a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong-Thai-Singaporean film of the same name. The film was rated PG-13 by the MPAA for "violence/terror and disturbing content." [ [ The Eye (2008) - Movie Preview - ] ]


Sydney Wells, at the start of the film, is a successful classical violinist, although blind since the age of 5. She and her sister, who was seven years older, had been playing with fireworks, and they had been set off too close to her face, damaging her eyes.

Now, nearly 20 years later, Sydney undergoes a cornea transplant which causes her vision to begin returning, albeit blurry. At first, she is confused and disoriented, unable to understand if what she sees is "real" or not. During her first night with her new eyes, her bedmate at the hospital dies, and Sydney, not understanding, watches her blurry figure being led away by someone else. During her stay, she also befriends a young girl named Alicia, who is there undergoing surgery for a brain tumor.

As time goes on, Sydney's vision begins to clear up and she struggles to understand the new world around her. She explains to her ocular therapist, Paul Faulkner, that she sees visions of fire and death and people dying. Her bedroom walls keep changing to stone and back again, and she sees what appears to be the ghosts of people around her, including a young woman who walks right through her in the street just before she sees her body lying on the ground. The young woman stares at her dead body in disbelief before being led away by a shadowy demonic form. Although skeptical at first, Paul later feels that her strange visions are her mind's way of interpreting what it was never able to before.

When a Chinese diner suddenly explodes around her, she finds herself in the charred remains. She learns that the accident that burned the diner down occurred weeks prior, revealing that her visions are of the past. Fleeing back to her apartment, she viciously smashes every light source and covers her windows (and eyes). Days later, her therapist forces his way in and removes her blinds, telling her to return to the real world.

Upon discovering that the face that appears in the mirror is not her own (which she finds out through photographs of her in the past), she becomes desperate to figure out who and what is sending her these visions. She begs Paul for help and finally convinces him to drive her to Mexico (at the risk of losing his medical license), in order to find out what happened to her donor, Ana Cristina Martinez.

They go to Ana Christina's house where they meet her mother, Rosa Martinez, whose face looks slightly burned on one side. Rosa recognizes her daughter's eyes in Sydney. Sydney says that she has been having visions that she can't explain. Rosa states that her daughter could see death and that as a child she would look at houses and cry, and later in the day somebody in that house would die. The villagers believed that she was causing death instead of predicting it, and they branded her as a witch. The conversation ends when Sydney suddenly sees a shadow behind Rosa, so she quickly tells Paul to call an ambulance. Rosa immediately after suffers a heart attack. As Rosa is laying on the floor suffering from the heart attack she murmurs to Sydney that she must save her daughter. As Paul drives her to the hospital, Sydney walks into Ana Christina's room and sees more images. She sees a concealed compartment in the floor open and then close, after she fights with the door to open it she witnesses Ana Christina hanging herself, she knocks down the bar she is hanging herself from and tells Ana Christina that it she believes that she is not a witch and that it is not her fault that she had the visions. In the end Ana Christina still dies. It turns out that the girl had committed suicide after failing to stop a factory fire that killed many of the people in the village and severely injured her own mother. Ana Christina had rushed into the factory and yelled for everyone to leave because they were in danger. The factory workers believed she was crazy and she was forcibly taken outside by two men who chained and padlocked the door from the outside to stop her from entering. Moments later, a furnace inside the factory exploded and most people died trapped in the fire by the padlocked door. After the fire, the deeply superstitious villagers, who had seen her crying outside the homes of people who were to die, believed she caused the disaster, and drove her to hang herself, calling her a witch and throwing stones at her.

Sydney and Paul return to the United States to discover the border is closed due to a high-speed chase on the other side. Dozens of vehicles are left stranded behind the closed gates. In the middle of the group of cars is a gas tanker with the number "106" on the front and a camper with a young girl in it; at the same time, many shadows move into the bus and take positions behind the people in it. Sydney then realizes that the images she keeps seeing — the number 106, bells, and a girl trapped in a fire — aren't of the past, but of the future. She rushes out of the car, shouting at everyone to flee, telling them a terrorist bomb is on the bus (although there isn't really a bomb — she just says this to get them off). The people listen and flee, just as a car smashes through the police barriers coming from the American side, and collides with the gas tanker. The tanker begins to leak gas and a spark causes the tanker to explode, destroying every vehicle in a chain reaction down the highway. While protecting the young girl, Sydney's eyes are injured by flying glass, turning her blind once more. In the next scene we see Sydney playing in a concert, and she tells us how okay she is about being blind, and how she was able to save many lives that night and bring Ana Cristina her eternal peace. Then we see that her eyes are clouded over, as they had been at the start of the movie.


*Jessica Alba as Sydney Wells
*Alessandro Nivola as Dr. Paul Faulkner
*Parker Posey as Helen Wells
*Chloe Moretz as Alicia Milstone
*Tamlyn Tomita as Mrs. Cheung
*Fernanda Romero as Ana Cristina Martinez
*Landall Goolsby as Alex
*Rade Serbedzija as Simon McCullough
*Kevin Phan as Ghost Boy
*Jeffrey Nguyen as Boy being led away
*Hetty Pham as Ghost girl
*Chris Duong as Girl in the hallway
*Jason Pham as Boy in the hallway


Using the pretext of a psychological thriller and paranormal experiences, the film explores mental illness, and in particular, of the monothematic delusion known as Mirrored self-misidentification, referred to in the story as cellular memory.

Other themes include the concept of precognition, or premonition, perhaps becoming a popular cultural crossover from Asian beliefs about the unknown- since this film was a remake of a Hong Kong horror flick, and still retains Asian themes in the 2008 version.


Remake rights to the Pang Brothers' original 2002 Hong Kong film, "The Eye", were purchased by Cruise/Wagner Productions. This American remake follows "Naina", a Hindi movie released in 2005, that is also based on the Pang Brothers' film.

Alba spent much time with the blind soprano Jessica Bachicha to learn about how blind people lived, used the white cane, read Braille etc. []


Exteriors were shot primarily in the Downtown Los Angeles area. The establishing hospital shots — wherein Sydney is supposed to have had her sight-restoring surgery— are of LAC/USC Medical Center in the Boyle Heights district; 3/4 shots looking north- and southeast of the main 18-floor-high central building (the same bldg. used for the television soap-opera "General Hospital"). Fictionally, the burned-out Chinese restaurant is supposed to be located just three-blocks from where Sydney lives; the exterior scene, in which Sydney is about to get into a taxicab and travel to Mexico, was filmed on 7th Street, just east of Figueroa, in the downtown area. Shots of Dr. Faulkner's office building are of the Forestry building at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

DVD & Blu-ray

The film was released on Region 1 DVD and Region A Blu-ray on June 3, 2008. The DVD release comes in both a one-disc version, a Blu-ray Disc and an identical two-disc Special Edition version which they both contain four featurettes - "Shadow World: The Paranormal Past," "Becoming Sydney," "Birth of the Shadowman" and "Dissecting a Disaster", deleted scenes and the theatrical trailer. The two-disc DVD and Blu-ray versions include a digital copy of the film for use on Windows and Mac computers.


Critical reception

The film received generally negative reviews from critics. On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 22% of critics gave the film a positive review, based on 68 reviews. [cite web|url= |title=The Eye - Movie Reviews, Trailers, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes |accessdate=2008-02-02 |publisher=Rotten Tomatoes]

Box office performance

The film opened in second place at the box office with $12.4 million, covering its $12 million budget. [ [ The Eye (2008)] , "Box Office Mojo". Accessed February 7, 2008.] As of April 10, 2008, the film has a domestic gross of $31,418,697 with a foreign gross of $24,891,069 totaling a international gross of $56,309,766. The film also did well in International box office--In United Kingdom it grossed $1,398,958 in its opening weekend at #2.


External links

* [ Official UK site]
* [ Official American site]
*imdb title|id=0406759|title=The Eye
*rotten-tomatoes|id=10008606-eye|title=The Eye
*metacritic film|id=eye2008|title=The Eye
*mojo title|id=eye07|title=The Eye
*amg movie|id=1:336356|title=The Eye
* [ Jessica Alba comments on The Eye]

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