The Eye Blu-ray Review
The disc presents a theatrically correct widescreen 2.35:1 1080p transfer that has been VC-1 encoded. This transfer is dark, really dark and thankfully brightness is set to give some rewarding richness to the gloom; take for example when Syd smashes all the lamps in her room, even while the frame turns to pitch there are still details visible in the shadows, even if the frame depth isn't terrific. Contrast is set well; whites never bloom and there's no loss of detail.
Detail itself is very good, check out the clarity of the gauze and plastic eye patches Syd wears after the operation or the weave of the linen bed sheets, facial detail is also pin sharp. External detail also fairs very well, but there are very few shots to really reveal that pop that the best HD material exhibits.
Colours are bold and well defined, all the primaries coming off well indeed, particularly the reds and oranges which shine. There is no bleed or wash from any of the colours and all grade without posterization.
The source print is free from any problems and there are no digital compression problems to report. On the whole a good, clean, solid picture thoroughly deserving of its score, missing out on being reference from the lack of 'extra' frame depth and the pop associated with it.
Three sound tracks to choose from English DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio 7.1 Surround (48kHz/24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (448kbps) and French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (192kbps), reviewed here is (downmixed to 5.1) the English track. Another superior audio track from Lionsgate that makes full use of the sound stage. Right from the off there is plenty to keep your ears happy, effect whip around the room with plenty of steerage. The score makes the most of these effects, particularly the jump scares. Ambience is well balanced, scenes in the restaurants or buses for example.
Bass is well managed keeping everything level, thought there are few LF moments and it did not drop as low as some of the better tracks out there. The one time it was called on though was satisfyingly intense. Dialogue is natural sounding with a little directionality when asked for. A very well managed mix and whilst it may not match the best of the best, it has plenty to give your system a workout.
There are eight scene which can be watched individually or all together with the play all function, all are pretty much redundant and were probably excised for that reason, though there is no indication given. They are all in a pretty woeful state, unfinished and stamped, in the black bars, with time codes.
- Becoming Sydney Featurette - 0.04.48
A brief discussion with Alba on her preparation (during Fantastic Four) for the roll of Sydney, involving violin lessons and spending time with the blind, typical back slapping stuff.
- Shadow World: Seeing the Dead Featurette - 0.08.31
A discussion of the supposed real science behind the happenings in the film, at first glance appears quite interesting before descending into film clips and pseudoscience told to sell the film.
- Birth of the Shadowman Featurette - 0.01.38
Very brief interview with the man playing the shadowmen; fully body makeup becoming rather redundant with all the CGI used in the end.
- The Eye: The Explosive Grand Finale - 0.07.56
Design, preparation and execution of the big set piece finale.
- Theatrical Trailer and trailers
What is says.
- Disc Two
Standard edition version of the film for use with iplayers, not stand alone DVD players.
What at first view appears to be a reasonable set of extra material is actually rather plain; the four featurettes look to be culled from the same 'entertainment channel special' on the making of the film and offer no real insights into the thinking behind this remake of the execution thereof. Whilst the SD version might appeal to some, if you couldn't get much out of the superior quality with the Blu, why suffer the SD on a miniature screen?
By eschewing all thoughts of the original film this 2008 remake still makes quite an effective thriller. There is a reasonable amount of tension built up in the early part of the film and even if Alba's performance and the dominance on jump scares are enough to waver your faith during the middle there is enough in the finale to bring everything back on board. Nowhere near as bad a most would have you believe The Eye is still a fair way from being a good horror, but at least it is watchable and takes itself seriously.
As a Blu-ray package Lionsgate have put together excellent quality picture and sound only to be let down by a rather lacklustre extras package and that includes the digital copy. A shame as a full on package would make this disc worth so much more.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £24.79
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