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Movie Review

Sydney Wells is an independent-minded concert violinist who lives a happy, successful life. She also happens to be blind—and has been since an unfortunate accident took her sight when she was 5. But that part of her day-to-day is about to change. Thanks to recent neural surgery breakthroughs, Sydney is now a candidate for a double corneal transplant.

The surgery goes smashingly. Sydney's recovery, however, hits a few road bumps when she starts seeing shadowy figures that shouldn't be there. Her doctor says it's no problem. But to Sydney, seeing things that appear to be dark spirits leading away the dead qualifies as most definitely a problem.

Ophthalmologist Paul Faulkner steps in to help the young woman's mind adjust to her new eyes. He doesn't really believe the ghost stories and thinks he can help her tamp down an overactive imagination. But Sydney's ghosts are becoming horrifyingly real and there seems to be some kind of pattern to the visions.

Then, when she accidentally realizes that the reflection in the mirror isn't her own face, but the face of another woman, the young violinist decides to take action. She must find the anonymous eye donor before her eyes drive her mad.


Positive Elements

Sydney is a very likable gal. Everyone gets along with her. And she hasn't let her handicap stop her from achieving a happy, fruitful life.

When things take a potentially deadly turn—as they are wont to do in films such as this—she struggles to save the lives of those around her. Even when blind, she saves a young skateboarder's life and stops him from rolling into heavy traffic. Later, she takes physical damage to protect a little girl.

Paul doesn't initially believe Sydney's stories, but he eventually risks his doctor's license to help her. Sydney's sister, Helen, is very loving and protective of her. A young cancer sufferer assures Sydney that she needn't be frightened: "Life is beautiful."

Spiritual Content

Seeing ghosts. And seeing ghosts being led away by really creepy shadow spirits with howling expressions and sharp teeth. That's the spiritual world of The Eye. When disaster is about to strike, these faint figures congregate to usher away the spirits of the dead. In one scene, Sydney sees a bus full of people each accompanied by their own black wraith.

With her new eyes, Sydney is also able to see things that almost give her prophetic insight into the future. And, as it turns out, the woman who originally owned her supernatural eyes was called a witch by children in her neighborhood. They write MUERE BRUJA (Die Witch) on the side of her house.

A woman says her dead daughter is "destined to repeat her death every day and unable to find peace." She pleads with Sydney to "save" her.

Sexual Content

Sydney's naked, full-body profile is seen through a translucent shower door as she sits on the floor. She steps out and the camera focuses on close-up shots of her back, shoulder, abdomen and the top of her backside as she dresses in panties and a tank top. Sydney also wears low-cut sundresses.

Violent Content

A young woman hangs herself from a pipe in her basement. We see her writhe in agony as the wire around her neck digs into her skin. Sydney frees her, but the bloodied woman dies in her arms.

A speeding car crashes into a gas tanker and causes an enormous explosion that sends other vehicles flying. That same explosion breaks a truck window and (in slow motion) shoots broken glass into someone's eyes.

Sydney has repeated bad dreams that flash images of a young girl trapped in a burning bus, a man on fire, explosions and a woman with blood streaming from her eyes. Those dreams spill over into what seems to be real life. For instance, in one scene Sydney finds herself in a burning room in which a fire-ravaged man grabs her arm and sears her flesh. In another vision she's inside a restaurant that bursts into flames.

We catch a profile glimpse of a ghostly figure who appears to have his face eaten away. A boy jumps out a 14th story window. It's a ghostly image, but Sydney breaks the glass to reach him and cuts her arm in the process. We see a boy and an older woman with burn scars on their faces. A woman keels over during a heart attack.

Crude or Profane Language

An s-word and "a--" each make a single appearance.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Sydney takes a swig from a bottle of alcohol.

Other Negative Elements


The Eye is an American-made flick based on the Hong Kong film Jian Gui. And so it imports some of the moody environs and eerie, herky-jerky filming techniques that one will commonly find in today's Asian horror. But it also adds something that's been somewhat rare in contemporary terror fare—a happy ending. In fact, it goes so far as to turn a ghosty-negative into a save-the-innocent positive.

It reaches that goal with scares produced by bumps in the night and blurry images rather than tanker trucks full of gore and body parts. It even has likeable characters leading the way: Jessica Alba invitingly portrays Sydney as the girl-next-door we can identify with and root for.

But although this is a movie that keeps its, uh, eyes off the gory shenanigans of many of its B-grade spooky-movie classmates, it remains, alas, a B-grade spooky movie. There are ample numbers of ragged-toothed spirits and thump-on-your-window jump scenes designed to assign nightmare homework. A number of quick shots of open wounds and burning flesh try their best to keep you away from the lunchroom. Worse, a twisted—counterfeit—supernatural world of prophetic visions and evil death guides teaches all the wrong lessons.

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