The Eye
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The Eye (2008) More at IMDbPro »

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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Eye can be found here.

Violinist Sydney Wells (Jessica Alba), blind since the age of five, undergoes a corneal transplant. She not only receives the gift of eyesight, but second sight as well. She can now see ghosts and begins having visions of fire and people caught in fire, almost always at 1:06 AM. When she tries to tell someone about it, however, no one will believe her...not her sister Helen (Parker Posey) nor Paul Faulkner (Alessandro Nivola), the doctor who is supposed to be helping with her ocular development and rehabilitation. Consequently, Sydney sets out to find her donor and figure out what these visions are all about.

The Eye is an English-language remake of the 2002 Chinese film Gin gwai, which was based on a screenplay by Chinese twin-brother screenwriters and directors, Danny Pang Fat and Oxide Pang Chun. They say that they were inspired to write the screenplay for Gin gwai by a report they had seen in a Hong Kong newspaper about a 16-year-old girl who had received a corneal transplant and committed suicide a week later. Their script was adapted for this American remake by Venezuelan screenwriter Sebastian Gutierrez.

She and her sister Helen were playing with firecrackers.

At the beginning of the movie, people are chanting, "Bruja! Bruja!" Taken as a Spanish word, bruja means witch.

Tomi Cheung (Kevin Phan) is the first ghost that Sydney encounters after returning home from the hospital. He appears several times, always asking whether she's seen his report card, seemingly afraid because his Dad is going to be mad at him. Little more is offered by way of an explanation as to how Tomi died, with the exception of one scene in which Tomi appears to jump out of a window. Viewers most often surmise that Tomi either lost his report card or got a bad grade on it and killed himself by jumping out of the window so as not to disappoint his parents. A second interpretation is that his father was abusive to him, so Tomi killed himself because he was afraid of his father. A few viewers think that Tomi's father killed him for having a bad report card. It's also been suggested that Tomi was looking for his report card, which possibly flew outside the window, and he fell while trying to fetch it. In the original movie, Tomi's father was angry at him for not showing him the report card. The father assumed the boy lied to cover up a bad grade when, in fact, he actually lost it. Until his father admits fault, Tomi is doomed to look for his report card and kill himself repeatedly every night. The belief that your parents mean a lot to you before you were born, while you are alive, and after you die is very common in Oriental cultures, a belief which did not translate very well in the American remake of the movie.

It's a lionfish (photo here), native to the Indo-Pacific but introduced to the Atlantic where it inhabits coral reefs along the East Coast of the United States and the Caribbean. It is known for its venomous fin rays.

Sydney and Paul head home but are stopped at the border because of a high speed chase taking place on the U.S. side. As they're sitting in the car waiting, Sydney begins to see some of the people from her visions sitting in a nearby camper. She notices the shadows racing across the highway and realizes that there's going to be an accident and that the visions she's been seeing are not from Ana's (Fernanda Romero) life but things that are just about to happen in Sydney's life. Ana was trying to warn Sydney so that she could save people, something Ana was not able to do in her case. Sydney begins running along the line of cars and buses telling everyone to get out of their vehicles. Suddenly, a car comes barreling through the blockade and rams into a gas tanker with the number 106 on it. The tanker explodes, setting off a massive explosion that travels down the line of cars. One of the cars explodes, sending window glass into Sydney's eyes. As she is wheeled on a gurney down a hospital corridor, her vision becomes dimmer and dimmer until everything goes black. In the final scene, Sydney is onstage, playing a violin solo with the blind ensemble. The audience gives her a standing ovation. In a voiceover, Sydney says,


Some say seeing is believing. Now I know what they mean. Ana Christina tried to prevent death, but she was ultimately powerless to stop it. Ana and I shared both a blessing and a curse. I know now I don't need eyes to see what truly matters. The gift of Ana's sight made me see what I was afraid to—to use that vision to not only save myself and others, but to give Ana the peace she never found in life.

Those who have seen both movies say that they are similar, with some things (like locations, certain characters, subplots) changed to make The Eye more American friendly. For example, Gin gwai is set in Hong Kong, and Mun travels to Bangkok to meet her donor's family, whereas the English version is set in Southern California, and Sydney travels to Mexico. Another difference is that Gin gwai focuses on the Chinese superstition about ghosts as the souls of people who are stuck in this world due to unresolved problems and that it is the living people's responsibility to help them by resolving what was left unsettled. In The Eye, however, the focus is on the pseudoscientific concept of 'cellular memory' as an explanation for Sydney's newfound ability to see ghosts. Another difference is in the ending. Although both movies end the same way (the big explosion), in Gin gwai, Mun's warning goes relatively unheeded and many people die whereas, in the remake, Sydney saves the people and is portrayed as a hero. Finally, many viewers think that Gin gwai is more 'bone-chilling' and scary than the American remake.

Cellular memory is the belief that living tissues have the capacity to store memories, emotions, and characteristics and that these can be passed during tissue transplants from donor to recipient. Also known as false memory syndrome, cellular memory is considered a pseudoscientific theory by the medical community as there is no evidence to support it.

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