The Eye—Lionsgate (Blu-ray)
Lionsgate presents yet another Japanese horror remake, this time The Pang Brother's hit or miss The Eye. This wasn't one of my favorite Japanese horror films but it certainly wasn't at the bottom of my list. The remake is close to the original with some scenes almost playing out shot for shot, but it lacks the overlaying tension of the original. This one relies more on quick scares that usually have more to do with the score than satisfying thrills. Alba is better than normal though and does a fairly good job in the role of the blind patient who is given the gift of sight again after having a cornea transplant. The supporting cast is barely used despite the talent and the ending is a bit too Hollywood happy for me. Overall I found this one to be rental material with only a few moments worth checking out.
New films rarely disappoint in HD and this is no exception. Lionsgate delivers a solid encode on this one but like the recent Cloverfield there are moments that really made this a hard movie to watch. As Alba's character starts to see her vision is mostly blurred so the random panning and focus made it hard to watch at times without some minor fatigue. Focused scenes look excellent though with great depth and shadow detail. The visual effects blend in nicely to the standard photography and contrast levels overall are excellent. Aside from the production style there is little to complain about here.
The full blown 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is a nice ride but falls a bit short of the other recent ghost film I reviewed, The Orphanage. This is still an aggressive mix though and Lionsgate makes great use of the surround soundstage to add to the atmosphere. The score can be a bit heavy at times but there are plenty of quick transients that will get some jumps from the audience. Dialogue is balanced nicely in the mix and the overall soundstage was convincing.
This two-disc set contains a second DVD with a digital copy of the film for computers. This is become more of a trend and while I don't use the digital copies I'm sure there are quite a few people that appreciate the feature. The main disc has a few featurettes that deal with production including the characters. Some deleted scenes and the trailer are also included.
I hope Hollywood starts moving away from foreign cinema remakes. We are becoming a generation that seems to thrive on remaking films that don't need to be and lacking in original content. This one lacks the chills of the original and fell short of what I would call an effective thriller. Lionsgate did deliver on the A/V presentation though so if you're already a fan, you're in for a treat.