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If ‘The Eye’ offends thee, pluck it out

What’s worse than a bad American remake of a terrifying Asian horror movie? Why, a bad American remake of a crappy Asian horror movie, of course.

What’s worse than a bad American remake of a terrifying Asian horror movie? Why, a bad American remake of a crappy Asian horror movie, of course. And that’s what we get with “The Eye,” a repackaging of a film that wasn’t all that great in the first place.

If you’ve seen any of the recent spate of horror remakes — “The Ring,” “The Grudge,” “Dark Water,” etc. — then you pretty much know what you’re getting with “The Eye.” Jessica Alba stars as a blind violinist who undergoes a cornea transplant. But now that she can see, wouldn’t you know it, she can also see dead people. (Maybe they should have just called this “The Fifth Sense.”)

Naturally, Alba’s character, blind since childhood, is having a hard enough time dealing with all the visual stimuli she’s having to learn to take in, so adding a whole supernatural level on top of it is more than she can bear.

But in the tradition of the other remakes, Alba’s visions aren’t particularly scary, they’re just vaguely spooky: plenty of ethereal spirit guides taking the souls of the dead away, visions of people burning to death and such.

But since we’ve seen this whole “donated organs with a life of their own” movie so many times before — “Blink,” “The Hand,” etc. — we get distracted with details like Alba’s ability, even when blind, to apply her makeup perfectly.

One gets the impression that the producers (including Tom Cruise’s business partner, Paula Wagner) thought they were making an art film at some point, from the involvement of Paramount Vantage to the hiring of tony character actors such as Parker Posey, Alessandro Nivola and Obba Babatundé.

How did this wind up being a Lionsgate movie with no advance press screenings? Probably because they hired screenwriter Sebastian Gutierrez, who previously flopped with “Gothika,” another overly stylized horror flick about a pretty lady in slightly creepy circumstances. (Gutierrez still gets a gold star in my book for writing “Snakes on a Plane,” however.)

“The Eye” is also just the most recent example of a trend in horror films that really needs to go away, one that has become as predictable and tired as the cat jumping out of the closet. If you’ve seen a scary movie in the last five years or so, you know exactly which one I mean: Everything suddenly gets quiet, quiet, quiet AND THEN THERE’S A REALLY LOUD NOISE AND YOU GO “AHH!” It was effective the first 100 times or so, but enough already.

The only image involved with the film that will stay with you is the picture of the hand coming over the bottom eyelid. Unfortunately, that was created by the marketing department and has nothing really to do with the flick. “The Eye”: See the billboard, skip the movie.