Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Eye: China vs. America

Some time ago, I rewatched The Eye with a friend and realized my opinion about both movies have not changed. The first time I watched both movies was for my speech class. I was working on a persuasive speech on Asian and American horror remakes. If you haven't noticed, there was a heavy influx of great ideas introduced in the U.S. through horror movies but were originally created by Asian directors. A few great examples that I used for my speech, aside from this movie, were The Ring, One Missed Call, and The Grudge. Some remakes are passable and some fail to translate. The Eye did a decent job of being remade for American audiences, but some things could've been executed a little differently.

The plot remains the same about a young blind woman who is planning on getting an eye transplant. We follow her journey of her adjusting to her eyesight and learning how to associate things by using her sense of sight, instead of her sense of touch like before with the help of a doctor. We gradually learn that she also has to learn what is real and what isn't. Things in her life drastically change with her new vision, especially when her excitement for a violin concert is taken away and her sanity is tested for a good majority of the movie.

With confirming that the storyline is practically the same, there's also other things I'm pleased with that they kept the same. They kept the important characters such as the little girl in the hospital, the doctor that helps the protagonist, and some sort of relative to help her along the way. I was a little surprised they kept the little boy that lost his report card since it doesn't quite translate completely in this country. The remake tried to keep as much as the original as possible from scene to scene, but had to "Americanize" it to blend with everyone's bland expectations of horror suspense movies. Some examples of this was speeding up the elevator scene with the ghost, giving more vocalization to the elderly woman in the hospital, and keeping the relationship with Jessica Alba's character and the little girl very casual and brief as opposed to the original where the audience is able to establish a connection with her at the same time. The remake made the relationship between them seem insignificant and pointless, but in fact she is an important character to the protagonist.

There was also unnecessary portions the U.S. director added that could've been left out, like the outing with Alba's character and the orchestra director. It seemed pointless and just in there to scare the audience like a typical horror movie. The relationship between Alba and the doctor was a bit annoying since he kinda acted like a douche and then suddenly they're instantly in love or something. The visitation to Mexico was a bit all over the place like the director and/or writers didn't know what to do with all the characters.

All in all, The Eye featuring Ms. Alba wasn't completely a train wreck. The remake was pretty decent and mostly did fine reflecting the original concept from Hong Kong. Of course, the original gets the job done of establishing a personal character to audience relationship, luring us into suspenseful and emotional moments, and maintaining the steady interest of ghost stories in present day.

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